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LINCOLN ROOM 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 
LIBRARY 





MEMORIAL 

the Class of 1901 

founded by 

HARLAN HOYT HORNER 

and 
HENRIETTA CALHOUN HORNER 



MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 



Memoirs of Gustave Koerner 

1809-1896 

Life-sketches written at the suggestion 
of his children 

Edited by 
Thomas J. McCormack 

Volume II 




THE TORCH PRESS. PUBLISHERS 

CEDAR RAPIDS. IOWA 

1909 



COPYRIGHT 1909 
BY MARY K. ENGELMANN 






TABLE OF CONTENTS 
VOLUME II 

CHAPTER XXVII. THE POLITICAL OUTLOOK IN 

1856 . '. 1 to 17 

The Political Situation in 1856, p. 2. The Dem- 
ocratic Conventions, p. 5. The Ostend Mani- 
festo and Pierre Soule, p. 6. The Democratic 
Platform of 1856, p. 9. Trip to the East, 
p. 10. Republican Convention of 1856, p. 14. 

CHAPTER XXVIII. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 
OF 1856 . . . r V-i .... 18 to 36 

Influence of the Know Nothings, p. 19. Cam- 
paign Incidents, p. 21. Politics at Mud 
Creek, p. 26. Accused of Purchasing a Ne- 
gro, p. 29. Lincoln at Belleville, p. 32. 
Nominated for Congress on the Republican 
Ticket, p. 33. Results of the Election, p. 
34. Personal, p. 36. 

CHAPTER XXIX. ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 

1857 . .-, . .- . .'.< I ' '.. 37 to 51 

Opening of the Legislature in 1857, p. 37. 
Death of Charles Koerner, p. 40. Local 
Affairs, p. 42. The Rairoad Jubilee, p. 43. 
The Schiller Centenary, p. 45. 

CHAPTER XXX. THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAM-. 
PAIGN OP 1858 ' .'"1 ./':' 52 to 70 

The Lecompton Constitution, p. 52. The De- 
fection of Douglas, p. 53. Article on the 
Douglas Situation, p. 54. Success of the 
Article, p. 56. Democratic Conventions of 
1858, p. 57. President of the Illinois Re- 
publican Convention in 1858, p. 58. The 
House-Divided-Against-Itself Speech, p. 58. 
The Douglas-Lincoln Speeches at Chicago, 
p. 59. At Springfield and Bloomington, p. 
61. Canvass of the State, p. 62. Counter- 
Questions and the Freeport Doctrine, p. 63. 
Comparisons, p. 65. The Belleville Meeting, 



vi MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

p. 66. Joint Debate at Alton, p. 66. Re- 
sults of the Campaign, p. 68. Personal and 
Local, p. 69. Death of William C. Kinney, p. 
70. 

CHAPTER XXXI. THE NOMINATION OP LIN- 
COLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY . . . " . 71 to 95 

William R. Morrison, p. 71. The German Re- 
publicans and the Massachusetts Amend- 
ment, p. 74. John Brown, and the Harper's 
Ferry Raid, p. 76. The Franco-Italian War, 
p. 78. Presidential Candidates, p. 78. 
Death of Governor Bissell, p. 80. Democratic 
Conventions, p. 81. The Republican State 
Conventions, p. 82. The Republican National 
Convention, p. 84. Lincoln Nominated, p. 
90. Reflections on the Convention, p. 92. 
Lincoln Notified, p. 93. 

CHAPTER XXXII. LINCOLN'S ELECTION, AND 
THE OUTBREAK OP THE REBELLION . . 96 to 125 

Organizing for the Battle, p. 97. Meetings and 
Speeches, p. 98. Belleville Democratic Meet- 
ing, p. 99. Height of the Campaign, p. 101. 
Election Day, p. 102. Lincoln in Spring- 
field, p. 104. Letter on the Status of Negro 
Slaves under the Louisiana Purchase, p. 
105. Governor Chase, p. 106.- Secession, p. 
107. Persona] and Political Connections with 
Lincoln, p. 109. Possible Diplomatic Ap- 
pointment, p. 114. Lincoln 's Inauguration, 
p. 116. The Call to Arms, p. 119 Illinois 
Organizing, p. 120. Cairo and Alton Occu- 
pied, p. 123. 

CHAPTER XXXIII. ILLINOIS ORGANIZING . 126 to 152 

Grant in Springfield, p. 126. The Situation in 
St. Louis, p. 129. Attitude of Douglas, p. 
133. War Message of the Governor, p. 134. 
War Session of the Illinois Legislature, p. 
137. Sent as Representative to the Gover- 
nors' Conference at Cleveland, p. 139. Mis- 
sion to St. Louis, p. 141. Death of Mrs. 
Theodore Engelmann, and Marriage of Mary 
Koerner, p. 144. Grant in Belleville, p. 
145. Camp Jackson Taken, p. 146. Equip- 
ping Volunteer Troops, p. 147. Death of 
Douglas, p. 148. Presents Colors to the 
Belleville Regiment, p. 149. Further Inci- 
dents, p. 150. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS vii 

CHAPTEK XXXIV. THE CITY OF WASHINGTON 
IN 1861 153 to 167 

Interview with Lincoln, p. 153. The Situation 
at the Front, p. 154. Proposes a Bill to 
Punish Treason and Sedition, p. 156. Fre- 
mont's Appointment, p. 158. Battle of Bull 
Eun, p. 159. Organizing a German Regi- 
ment, p. 161. Relatives in the War, p. 165. 
Appointed on Fremont's Staff, p. 166.- 

CHAPTER XXXV. WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 168 to 223 

Fremont's Difficulties, p. 168. Fremont's 
Character and Course, p. 169. Prepara- 
tions and Personal Surroundings, p. 170. 
Fremont's Staff, p. 172. Legal Duties in 
Camp, p. 173. In Camp at Jefferson City, 
p. 175. Camp-Life and Camp-Companions, 
p. 176. Owen Lovejoy, p. 181. Aid Solici- 
ted from Illinois, p. 183. Army Movements 
in Missouri, p. 185. Fremont's Removal, 
p. 189. Death of Victor Koerner, p. 191. 
General Despondency, p. 192. Military Dis- 
organization, p. 194. Mediates between Hal- 
leek and Sigel, p. 196. Democrats in the 
Union Army, p. 204. General Union Ad- 
vance, p. 207. Fort Donelson, p. 208. Other 
Successes of the Union Army, p. 210. Ap- 
pointed Minister to Spain, p. 211. Union 
Check at Shiloh, p. 213. Further Movements 
of the Union Armies, p. 222. 

CHAPTER XXXVI. FROM BELLEVILLE TO MA- 
DRID . ,"'.'; . . . . ;' 224 to 256 

Correspondence with Motley, p. 225. Prepara- 
tions for Departure, p. 227. In Washing- 
ton, p. 229. The Voyage, p. 230. Southamp- 
ton, p. 232. In Paris, p. 234. Germany and 
the Rhine, p. 237. Kreuznach Again, p. 
240. Frankfort after Thirty Years, p. 
242. From Heidelberg to Switzerland, p. 248. 
Lyons and France, p. 250. Barcelona, 
p. 252. Valencia, p. 253. From Valencia to 
Madrid, p. 255. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. MADRID . . . . , , ., : 257 to 285 

The Secretaries of the American Legation, p. 
258. Spanish Parties, Politicians, and Diplo- 
mats, p. 261. Presentation of Credentials, p. 
264. Outcome of the "Montgomery" Inci- 
dent, p. 270. Domestic Life in Spain, p. 
272. The Promenades and Drives of Madrid, 



viii MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

p. 275. Diplomatic Acquaintances, p. 278. 
Carl Gaertner, p. 284. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. SPANISH POLITICS AND 
SPANISH ART 286 to 313 

Diplomatic Relations of Spain and the United 
States, p. 287. War News, p. 288. A Besa- 
manos at the Court of Spain, p. 289. Diplo- 
matic Troubles. Cuba and Mexico, p. 290. 
General Prim, p. 295. Public Amusements 
of Madrid, p. 296. Bull-Fights, p. 298. 
The Countess of Montijo, p. 301. Art-Treas- 
ures of Madrid, p. 303. Political and Diplo- 
matic Complications, p. 306. American Visi- 
tors, p. 311. 

CHAPTER XXXIX. GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, 
AND SEVILLE . 314 to 337 

The Spanish Diligence, p. 315. Bailen and 
Jaen, p. 315. Granada, p. 317. The Alham- 
bra, p. 318. The Granada Cathedral, p. 
321. Malaga, p. 322. Cadiz and Jerez, p. 
324. Seville, p. 326. The Seville Cathedral, 
p. 328. The Palace of San Telmo, p. 331. 
Other Monuments and Murillo Collections to 
Seville, p. 333. Cordova, p. 335. 

CHAPTER XL. THROUGH NORTHERN SPAIN AND 
GERMANY IN 1863 '-;* ; 338 to 361 

Memorial Address of the People of Barcelona, 
p. 339. Spanish Difficulties, p. 339. 
Through Northern Spain, p. 340. Saragossa, 
p. 341. In France, p. 343. Strassburg, p. 
345. Hamburg, p. 346. Kiel in 1863, p. 
347. Berlin in 1863, p. 350. Dresden, 
p. 353. Leipsic, p. 356. Southern Germany, 
and Munich Again, p. 357. Switzerland, p. 
360. 

CHAPTER XLI. SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE . 362 to 378 

Interlaken, p. 362. The Valley of the Aar and 
St. Gotthard, p. 366. Nismes, p. 373. A 
Parade in Barcelona, p. 376. 

CHAPTER XLII. DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT THE 
COURT OF MADRID 379 to 406 

French Intrigues against the Union, p. 380. 
Visit of the Empress Eugenie to Madrid, p. 
384. Patti in Madrid, p. 388. Birth of a 
Royal Infanta, p. 389. Diplomatic Ques- 



TABLE OF CONTENTS ix 

tions, p. 393. A Spanish Princely Baptism, 
p. 395. Sad News From America, p. 397. 
The Madrid Carnival, p. 398. Diplomatic 
Negotiations Concerning the Slave Trade, p. 
399. Sir Moses Montefiore, p. 403. The 
Spanish-Peruvian Difficulty, p. 403. 

CHAPTER XLIII. LAST DAYS IN SPAIN . ''.' 407 to 431 

Political Situation in America, p. 408. The 
Escurial, p. 410. Aranjuez, p. 412. Toledo, 
p. 413. War News, p. 416. European Pol- 
itics, p. 416. Departure from Madrid, p. 
419. Judgment of the Spanish National 
Character, p. 420. Political and Constitu- 
tional Liberty of Spain, p. 421. The Press 
in Spain, p. 422. Spanish Social Conditions, 
p. 425. Through France, p. 427. Through 
Germany to New York, p. 429. 

CHAPTER XLIV. END OF THE WAR . ; 432 to 444 

Second Lincoln Campaign, p. 433. Meetings 
in Chicago, p. 434. Resigns from the Diplo- 
matic Service, p. 437. Private Affairs, p. 
438. Close of the War, p. 439. Lincoln's 
Death, p. 440. Funeral of Lincoln, p. 442. 

CHAPTER XLV. THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 445 to 475 

Meeting with General Grant in 1865, p. 446. 
Appointed a Trustee of the Soldiers' Or- 
phans' Home, p. 448. Publishes his Remi- 
niscences of Spain, p. 450. Local and Per- 
sonal Matters, p. 451. The Austrian-Prus- 
sian War, p. 452. Johnsonian Reconstruc- 
tion, p. 457. Domestic and Business Affairs, 
p. 460. Extended Pleasure Trip Through 
the North and East, p. 462. Canada, p. 
464. New England, p. 466. Conflict Between 
Congress and Johnson, p. 474. 

CHAPTER XLVI. THE YEARS 1868 TO 1870 . 476 to 524 

General Sherman, p. 477. State Politics in 
1868, p. 479. Presidential Campaign of 
1868, p. 481. Benjamin Butler, p. 486. 
Grant's Cabinet, p. 488. Presidential Diffi- 
culties, p. 492. The Cuban Insurrection of 
1868, p. 494. Centenary of the Birth of Alex- 
ander Von Humboldt, p. 496. Dr. Hermann 
Von Hoist, p. 498. Business and Domestic 
Affairs, p. 499. The Santo Domingo Affair, 
p. 499. Visit to Washington in 1870, p. 502. 
The Franco-Prussian War, p. 504. Pro-Ger- 
man Mass-Meetings, p. 507. News from the 



x MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Battle of Sedan, p. 512. American Public 
Opinion During the Franco-German War, p. 
514. Candidate for the United States Sen- 
ate, p. 518. Sale of Arms to France, p. 
523. 

CHAPTER XL VII. THE YEARS 1871 AND 1872 525 to 572 

Appointed on the Railroad and Warehouse Com- 
mission, p. 525. Feeling Against General 
Grant, p. 527. Death of Sharon Tyndale, p. 
528. Celebration Over the Peace of Frank- 
fort, p. 530. The Chicago Fire, p. 531. Death 
of Ernst Decker, p. 533. Liberal Republican 
Movement, p. 534. Judge David Davis, p. 
539. So-called Labor Convention, p. 540. 
Progress of the Liberal Republican Move- 
ment, p. 542. Caspar Butz, p. 545. The 
Cincinnati Convention, p. 547. The Liberal 
Republican Platform, p. 552. The Voting, 
p. 553. Greeley Nominated, p. 555. Im- 
pressions of Greeley 'a Nomination, p. 557. 
Convention of the Grant Republicans, p. 
558. Disaffection in the Opposition, p. 559. 
State Convention of 1872, p. 560. Nominat- 
ed for Governor, p. 561. Union of Liberal 
Republicans and Democratic Parties, p. 564. 
The Campaign of 1872, p. 565. Political 
Speech at Chicago, p. 566. Canvasses Indi- 
ana, p. 571. Reflections, p. 572. 

CHAPTER XL VIII. THE YEARS 1872 TO 1875 573 to 596 

Conclusion of the Greeley Campaign, p. 573. 
Greeley 's Defeat and Death, p. 575. Per- 
sonal and Domestic, p. 576. Minor Political 
Incidents, p. 576. Deaths of Theodore Hil- 
gard, Sr., and Dr. Adolph Berchelmann, p. 
578. The Credit Mobilier Scandal, p. 579. 
Literary Activity, p. 581. Address in Cin- 
cinnati, p. 581. Politics in the Year 1874, 
p. 583. Buffalo in 1874, p. 584. Mackinaw 
Island, p. 584. From Mackinaw to St. Paul, 
p. 588. A Trip Down the Mississippi, p. 
590. Opening of the St. Louis Bridge, p. 
590. The Political Situation, p. 591. Do- 
mestic Affairs, p. 592. The Whiskey Ring, 
p. 593. 

CHAPTER XLIX. THE YEAR 1876 ... 597 to 624 

Political Outlook, p. 597. Conference of the 
Liberal Republicans in 1876, p. 599. Repub- 
lican National Convention, p. 602. Colonel 
Robert G. Ingersoll, p. 603. Nomination of 



TABLE OF CONTENTS xi 

Tilden, p. 604. Personal and Political, p. 606. 
Visit to the Philadelphia Centennial, p. 607. 
Politics in New York, p. 609. Visit to 
Governor Tilden, p. 610. Position of Carl 
Schurz in 1876, p. 611. Death of Paula 
Koerner Detharding, p. 612. The Contested 
Election of 1876, p. 613. State Conventions 
of Protest, p. 617. The Electoral Commis- 
sion, p. 619. Hayes Declared Elected, p. 
621. The Railroad Strikes of 1877, p. 623. 

CHAPTER L. FROM 1877 TO 1880 . ... 625 to 644 

Compilation of a History of the German Ele- 
ment in the United States, p. 625. The 
Greenback or National Party, p. 629. 
Deaths of Dr. Adolph Eeuss and Sidney Breese, 
p. 631. Visits to La Salle and Its Environs, 
p. 632. Death of General Shields, p. 633. 
Appearance of ' ' The German Element, ' ' p. 
634. Mirza Shaffy Bodenstedt, p. 635. Let- 
ter from Dr. Brunk, p. 636. The Third Term 
Idea and the Nomination of Garfield (1880), 
p. 637. Hancock Nominated by the Demo- 
cratic Party, p. 641. 

CHAPTER LI. 1880 TO 1883 645 to 672 

A Trip to Colorado (1880), p. 645. Meeting 
with General Grant, p. 648. Scenery and 
Sights of Colorado, p. 649. The Campaign 
and Election of 1880, p. 657. Death and 
Obsequies of Frederick Hecker, p. 658. As- 
sassination of Garfield, p. 661. Letters from 
Venezuela, p. 662. Golden Jubilee of the 
Heidelberg Doctorate (1882), p. 664. Death 
of Frederick Kapp, p. 665. Later Literary 
Labors, p. 666. Corrects Von Holtzendorff ' s 
Views of America, p. 666. Letter on the 
Prohibition Question, p. 668. State Election, 
p. 671. 

CHAPTER LIT. COMPLETION OF THE NORTHERN 
PACIFIC 673 to 722 

Distinguished Guests of the Excursion, p. 673. 
Festivities in Minnesota, p. 675. Description 
of the Trains, p. 680. Companions on the 
Trip, p. 681. In Dakota, p. 683. In Mon- 
tana, p. 688. An Indian Encampment, p. 
689. Onward Again Through Montana, p. 
692. The Laying of the Last Bails, p. 694. 
Rudolph Gneist and A. W. Hoffmann, p. 696. 
Beyond the Rockies, p. 696. Festivities in 
Portland, p. 700. Trip to Victoria, p. 706. 



xii MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Edward Lasker, p. 709. Seattle, p. 711. 
A Chinese Theatre in Portland, p. 712. 
Homeward Bound, p. 715. Indian Missions, 
p. 717. Traveling Companions, p. 721. 

CHAPTER LIIL CONCLUSION, 1883-1886 . 723 to 748 

Bicentenary of the Founding of Germantown, 
p. 723. Presidential Year, 1884, p. 725. 
Elaine's "Twenty Years of Congress," p. 
726. Toast to "Our Country," p. 728. 
Action for Personal Liberty, p. 731. The 
Campaign in Illinois, p. 732. The "Eum, 
Romanism and Eebellion" Incident, p. 733. 
Some Self-Analysis and Reflections on His 
Own Career, p. 736. The Cleveland Adminis- 
tration, p. 737. Judge Stallo and the Italian 
Mission, p. 738. Monument Erected in St. 
Louis to Francis P. Blair, p. 739. Banquet 
and Speeches on the Departure of Judge 
Stallo, p. 741. The Western Eailroad Strikes 
of 1886, p. 743. Golden Wedding (1886), 
p. 746. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

The Political Outlook in 1856 

Douglas, after his return to Illinois, and subsequently to 
the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in 1854, made tre- 
mendous efforts to sustain his position. At a mass-meeting 
in Chicago, called by his friends, he was unable to get a hear- 
ing. Only a few years before, when I had accompanied him in 
the presidential and gubernatorial canvass, he was the idol 
of the Democracy and highly esteemed even by his opponents ; 
while now, such was the disaffection of a large majority of his 
own party in the north of our State, and such the hatred of 
the Free Soilers of the other parties, that his voice was 
drowned by the crowd. Hisses, groans and curses filled the air. 
But he could not be forced to leave the stand, though hardly 
anybody could hear what he said. In another part of the 
city, it was said, he had been burnt in effigy. I mention this 
as an illustration showing what a prodigious effect this single 
measure, the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, had produced. It was 
really the commencement of the end of the slave power. 

But Douglas, the very embodiment of pluck, was not dis- 
couraged. He traversed the State in every direction, sup- 
ported by the administration, which used its executive power 
to remove Anti-Douglas men from office and to replace them 
by friends of the Senator. The measure was made a party 
test. In the middle and the south of the State Douglas fared 
better; in fact, in the south the defection from the regular 
Democratic party was slight, except in St. Clair and one or 
two other counties. There were no elections of any im- 
portance in the State that fall; but, as Douglas was stirring 
up the people by vindicating himself, we Anti-Nebraska Dem- 



2 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ocrats had to accept the challenge, and, during the fall-term 
of the courts, hardly a night passed without a lively debate 
on the all-important question. This agitation, at a time which 
was usually a very quiet one, (no elections pending,) was a 
prelude, however, to the stormy year of 1856. 

THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN 1856 

The situation of the parties about this time was very 
peculiar. The Whig party in the South had never been 
strong. It could count only on temporary victories in the 
State elections. On the dissolution of the party, the Whigs 
living in the most southerly States, generally called the 
Cotton States, had, owing to the slavery question, joined the 
Democrats. Those, however, residing in the Border States, 
Maryland, the western part of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennes- 
see and Missouri, (and they had been in the majority,) while 
they would not join the Free Soilers of the North, had, in a 
great measure, gone over to the Native American party. They 
declared themselves in favor of the Union and as opposed to 
the Southern Ultras, or fire-eaters, as they were called. 

In the North a new party had sprung up, built on the 
pending issue: "No extension of slavery into Territories 
heretofore declared free. ' ' A number of Democrats, who had, 
as early as 1848, voted for Van Buren and Charles F. Adams 
on the Free Soil platform, and had thereby defeated General 
Cass, the regular Democratic candidate, had combined with 
the Whigs in the New England States and New York, and 
taken upon themselves the name of ' ' Republicans. ' ' 

Another portion of the Northern Democracy, opposed to 
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and in favor of free 
soil in the Territories, hesitated to join this new party, for 
the reason that on all other points they still held firmly to 
the Democratic doctrines. Besides, the new departure of the 
regular Democracy on the Pro-Slavery lines had not received 
as yet the full sanction of the party. Some Democratic Leg- 
islatures had approved of the Kansas Bill; others had con- 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 3 

demned it. Until, therefore, the National Democratic Con- 
vention, which was to meet in the summer of 1856 to nominate 
a candidate for the Presidency, had authoritatively announced 
itself in favor of the principle embodied in the Kansas Law, 
the Anti-Nebraska Democrats still claimed to be considered 
members of the party, although Douglas in his speeches and 
by his press-organs had already denounced them as traitors, 
as Abolitionists and Disunionists. 

In some States the Anti-Nebraska Democrats were in the 
undoubted majority of the party; in others, it was doubtful 
which faction prevailed. In the Northwest, where the Doug- 
las influence was very great, they were in the minority. In 
the South, they hardly had any existence at all. A majority 
of the Whigs in the North formed the principal body of the 
new party, joined by the more rational part of the Abolition- 
ists, who were satisfied for the present with keeping slavery 
out of the Territories. Their number, however, was compar- 
atively small, though large enough to create much prejudice 
against the new party. A considerable part of the Northern 
"Whigs, sympathizing neither with the Free Soilers nor with 
the Pro-Slavery party, sought refuge in the Native American 
party. This was particularly the case in Pennsylvania, where 
for some years past the party had been very strong. 

All eyes were accordingly directed towards Cincinnati, 
where the Democratic National Convention met early in June. 
Thousands of Democrats in the North, waiting for the Na- 
tional Democratic party to declare itself on the slavery 
question, had not yet joined the Republicans. I was one of 
these Democrats. On the 22d of February, 1856, a meeting 
had been held at Decatur by the Republican editors of the 
State, who had appointed me one of the State Central Com- 
mittee to aid in calling together an Anti-Nebraska Convention 
to be held at Bloomington in May. This appointment I de- 
clined in a public letter, declaring myself to be in unison 
with the sentiment of the meeting regarding slavery and in 
earnest opposition to its extension into territory heretofore 



free. ' ' The idea, ' ' I said, ' ' that the Constitution of the freest 
country on earth carries slavery wherever its flag is unfurled, 
I hold in utter abhorrence." But, I said further, that, while 
I feared that both the State and National Conventions, soon 
to be held, would endorse the Kansas-Nebraska Act, with all 
that it implied, yet, as these conventions, in which by common 
usage was lodged the authority to bind the party to the prin- 
ciples enunciated in its platform, had not yet spoken, I felt 
that, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, especially 
since I had been so often honored by that great party and 
now held a high position by their voices, I could not as yet 
sever the ties which so long had connected me with it. Should 
these meetings, however, act as I feared they would, I would 
then willingly join a new party, which should, however, be 
more than a temporary opposition-party. 

"A mere opposition-party," I said, "may please those 
who have set their eyes upon political preferment ; it does not 
satisfy me. Such a party loses its power the moment it at- 
tains it. It may share in the emoluments of office, but can 
do no good. A new party should meet all the important 
political issues clearly and distinctly, without mental reserva- 
tion. I could not cooperate with any party, which, while as- 
serting the principle that all soil heretofore free should re- 
main free as long as it was a Territory, would not, at the 
same time affirmatively maintain that the Constitutional rights 
of the Southern States should never be interfered with; that 
all American citizens without distinction of birth and religion 
should be entitled ' to rule America ; ' that the present natural- 
ization laws should not be modified in an illiberal spirit ; that 
monopolies in every shape and form should be abolished ; and 
that no wasteful expenditure, under whatever specious plea, 
should be encouraged, either under the national or State 
government. ' ' 

This letter was extensively published all over the State, 
and it really constituted the program of the Northern Democ- 
racy, as opposed to the Pro-Slavery Democracy. The plain 
declaration against Abolitionism and Native Americanism had 
a most happy effect on the German element, as it had a ten- 
dency to quiet their fears regarding the new party, with re- 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 5 

spect to the support it might derive from that portion of the 
Native American party in the North which on its breaking up 
was ready to join the Kepublican party. I received letters of 
approval from many parts of the State. John M. Palmer 
wrote me from Carlinville, March 12, 1856, as follows: 

' ' I write to thank you for your well-timed and admirably 
written letter, which precisely expresses the opinion of every 
true, conservative Democrat with whom I have conversed. 
Your position is like my own; every vote I have ever given 
has been cast with the Democratic party; and you have suc- 
ceeded in defining with perfect accuracy, not only 'the whole 
duty of man/ but the whole duty of a Democrat. I have 
already, and shall hereafter, circulate your letter extensively 
in my Senatorial District. Pardon me for making another 
remark. The eyes of the people of the State are turned to 
your Congressional District, and it is felt that your name in 
a canvass will insure success. We outsiders hope you will 
make the fight." 

THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTIONS 

The Democratic State Convention in May, under the in- 
fluence of Douglas, the pressure of the administration, and 
the very strong feeling against the Abolitionists in the south 
of the State, which was transferred, as was expected, to the 
Republicans, endorsed Douglas's repeal of the Missouri Com- 
promise and his phantom ' ' Squatter Sovereignty, ' ' nominated 
William A. Richardson, of Quincy, who had been Douglas's 
fugle-man in the Lower House of Congress, for governor, and 
recommended Douglas for the Presidency. 

The National Convention met on the second of June at 
Cincinnati. James Buchanan, then minister to England, and 
Franklin Pierce were considered the main rivals. Douglas 
was also brought forward, and developed such strength that 
after several ballots he received one hundred and twenty-one 
votes to Buchanan's one hundred and sixty-eight. Buchanan 
was nominated. It was a very judicious nomination. He had 
been unconnected with the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 
nor had he, like Pierce, supported the outrages in Kansas 
committed by the Territorial Legislature, which was elected, 



6 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

beyond all contradiction, by thousands of Missourians, who, 
under the plea of being emigrants and settlers, outvoted the 
real settlers and drove the Free State voters in many places 
from the polls, and which had enacted a slave code and other 
laws, directed against Free State people, more harsh and more 
cruel than any similar laws in any of the Southern States. 
Buchanan's nomination was intended to keep luke-warm 
Anti-Nebraska Democrats in the party, which it undoubtedly 
did to some extent, and also to secure Pennsylvania, by the 
nomination of a President who could be relied upon as up- 
holding the protective policy of that State. At the same time 
the South knew their man well enough to know that he would 
not resist their most extravagant demands as regards slavery, 
while he was also most favorable to the acquisition of Cuba, 
peaceably if possible, and if not peaceably, by force. 

THE OSTEND MANIFESTO AND PIERRE SOULE 

It was well known that for years the South had been 
anxious to annex that island. The Lopez expedition, of which 
I have spoken, had been encouraged by the South. Spain had 
frequently been given, in a roundabout way, to understand 
that the United States would give almost any price for the 
"Pearl of the Antilles." Such suggestions had always been 
indignantly spurned by that power. But early in 1856, Marcy, 
Secretary of State, had most strangely called upon Buchanan, 
minister to England, Mason, of Virginia, minister to France, 
and Soule, minister to Spain, to hold a conference and to 
take the matter of acquiring Cuba into serious consideration. 
These gentlemen met at Ostend, then adjourned to Aix-la- 
Chapelle, and sent a despatch to the President, which, for 
arrogance, absurdity, and offensiveness toward a friendly 
nation, has hardly ever been surpassed by any diplomatic 
document. To induce Spain to sell, she was represented as 
perfectly bankrupt, as being unable to pay her foreign cred- 
itors, most of whom were Englishmen; that she would soon 
be called to account by England for the non-payment of those 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 7 

debts, and that her only hope was to raise money by selling 
Cuba. Besides, she had so badly administered the island that 
she could not longer hold it against the Cubans, nor could 
the people in the United States be prevented from assisting 
them in throwing off the Spanish yoke. 

The publication of this despatch, which is known in his- 
tory as the "Ostend Manifesto," filled the whole civilized 
world with astonishment and even indignation. Such an open, 
bare-faced declaration of lust of conquest and of exciting a 
people to revolt at a time of profound peace, startled even 
the most unscrupulous statesmen. 

From what I learned of Soule's character while min- 
ister at Madrid, I have no doubt that the manifesto was mostly 
his work. He had repeatedly addressed the Spanish ministers 
on the subject of selling Cuba to the United States, which 
proposition had been flatly rejected. His very appointment 
had given great umbrage to them, as he was known in New 
Orleans, where he resided, to have been one of the most en- 
thusiastic supporters of the filibustering expedition of Lopez, 
and as he was a most radical revolutionist, having fled from 
France under the Restoration, and having been accused of 
entering into a Republican conspiracy against the government. 
"When he went to Spain as American minister, Louis Napol- 
eon's police did not allow him to traverse France. Besides, 
Soule's whole conduct in Madrid was so extravagant that it 
excited general remark. At that time, and until lately, the 
old rule still prevailed that our ministers to foreign countries 
should wear a uniform at court and on public occasions. It 
was a very plain one, consisting of a blue dress-coat, with gold 
buttons, impressed with the American eagle, and with some 
gold embroidery on the collar, and of a buff colored waist- 
coat and blue trousers, with a small gold band on the seam. 
But Soule would not conform to this rule; while, at the same 
time, he was too much of a Frenchman to appear in simple 
evening dress amongst the other diplomats, decked out as they 
were with ribbons and orders and gold-embroidered coats. So 



8 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

he adopted a dress of his own; appearing in a black velvet 
frock-coat and black velvet vest and trousers, his head covered 
with a sort of Italian brigand felt hat. He furthermore got 
into many troubles, some of them quite serious. At a re- 
ception of the French ambassador, the Marquis of Turgot, 
Mrs. Soule, it seems, was costumed in so extraordinary a man- 
ner that the Duke of Alba, brother-in-law of the Emperor 
Napoleon III, made some jesting remark regarding her dress 
in an undertone to one of his friends. Mr. Soule 's son either 
caught the words of Alba, or heard of them, and challenged 
the offender. A sword duel ensued, which, however, passed 
off without any serious consequences. But the erratic French- 
man, our minister, was still not satisfied. He insisted that 
Turgot, in whose house the affront was offered, should also 
demand satisfaction from Alba. This Turgot declined to do, 
and Soule challenged him. They fought with pistols, and Tur- 
got was wounded in the knee and crippled for life. 

The Ostend Manifesto, which was denounced by Spain 
with wrathful indignation, and Soule 's absurd social pranks 
made him impossible; so he resigned, or had to resign, not 
long afterwards, to become one of our most noted secession- 
ists. Pierre Soule was a man of talents, a fine advocate, a 
born orator, and remarkable for his facility in expressing 
himself in English, though he came to this country several 
years after attaining his majority. Representing Louisiana 
in the United States Senate from 1849 to 1855, he was con- 
sidered one of its foremost orators. 

It was principally this foolish manifesto, emanating from 
a Democratic administration at the behest of the South, and 
written by Buchanan and two extreme Southerners, which se- 
cured for us during the Rebellion the most benevolent neutral- 
ity of Spain, and in fact, it might be said, her quiet support. 
Whenever the ministry showed any tendency to yield to the 
incessant efforts of France to induce Spain to acknowledge the 
independence of the Southern Confederacy, a reminder of 
the Ostend Manifesto by our Republican representatives at 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 9 

Madrid was sufficient to set all the French manoeuvres at 
naught. 

THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM OF 1856 

In order to reconcile Douglas to his failure in obtaining 
the nomination, the South showed him some little accommoda- 
tion in not putting forward their extreme views on the sub- 
ject of slavery in the Territories in their platform. Pro- 
Slavery as a majority of them were, they did not wish to de- 
feat him for the Senate in his own State, which would 
surely have been the case, had they framed a program such 
as they did afterwards in 1860. John C. Breckenridge waa 
nominated for Vice-President. 

The platform adopted contained many most excellent 
principles. It denounced the Native American party in the 
strongest terms, branded the crusade against foreign-born 
citizens, and against Catholics in particular, as anti-national 
and as Anti-Democratic. Every Democrat could have sanc- 
tioned this program had not the concluding resolutions shown 
the cloven foot. They strongly endorsed the principle con- 
tained in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, without exactly stating 
(in order to save Douglas) whether that principle was popular 
sovereignty, or the absolute right to take slaves into any and 
all Territories under the Constitution, as the South inter- 
preted it. 

The program was most skilfully drawn, and, in connection 
with the nomination of Buchanan, who had stood aloof 
from the slavery agitation of late years, and whose views 
could be represented in one way in the North and in another 
in the South, it was very apt to weaken the Anti-Nebraska 
party and to keep the foreign-born voters in the Democratic 
party. I and thousands of other Democrats could not sub- 
scribe to the platform as a whole, and nothing could have 
made us support it except a mischievous act on the part of 
the Republican party, which was soon to meet in convention at 
Philadelphia on the 17th of June. 



10 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

TRIP TO THE EAST 

Early in June Sophie and I had carried out our long 
desired plan to visit the tomb of our Theodore. We arrived, 
accompanied by our dear Mary, at Cincinnati, a few days 
after the adjournment of the Democratic Convention. We 
called upon the Stallos. Stallo had visited us in Belleville 
a year or two before, when delivering on invitation a scien- 
tific lecture to the Belleville Turners' Association. His views 
on politics were the same as mine. The non-interference prin- 
ciple enunciated in the Democratic program, to judge from 
what had already passed in Kansas, was sure to surrender 
that State to slavery, with the prospect of its coming into the 
Union as a Slave State, adding two senators and one repre- 
sentative to the South and giving it a preponderance in the 
national counsels. Before, however, publicly supporting the 
Republican party, we thought it best to await the outcome of 
the Republican Convention. Of John B. Stallo, in every re- 
spect the foremost representative of the German-Americans, 
I have spoken so fully in my "German Element," that I 
could only repeat here what I have there said of him. In 
Mrs. Stallo, Sophie found a fellow-countrywoman. She 
was from Rhenish Bavaria, born only a short distance from 
Winnweiler, an open-hearted, frank, unaffected, good house- 
wife, with all the vivacity of the dwellers on the Rhine. 

From Cincinnati we went to Buffalo, where my old fellow- 
student from Munich and Heidelberg, Dr. Francis Brunk, and 
his family received us, I may say, with open arms. We passed 
some very agreeable days with them. Brunk had in a measure 
quit his practice as a physician, and had become part owner 
and editor of the " Buffalo Weltbuerger " (Cosmopolitan). He 
had always been a strong Democrat ; and, while he condemned 
Douglas for having opened the slavery question anew to serve 
his personal ambitions, he was not prepared to enter the 
Republican camp. His paper was in a nourishing condition, 
and he knew, or thought he knew, that a large majority of the 
Germans in Buffalo, owing to the aggressions of the Native 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 11 

American element, would never leave the Democratic party, 
which had always stood for the equal rights of foreign-born 
citizens with American citizens. He introduced me, however, 
to Philip Dorscheimer, a friend of his, and a man of great 
popularity, who had left the Democratic party, of which he 
had been a prominent member for many years, and who was 
now acting with the Eepublicans and was an enthusiastic 
supporter of John C. Fremont for the nomination for Presi- 
dent. Dorscheimer was then the owner of one of the principal 
hotels, the Mansion House. He is also fully portrayed in 
my "German Element" (Cincinnati, A. E. Wilde & Co., 
1880). 

Departing from Buffalo, accompanied by Mr. and 
Mrs. Brunk, we stopped at Niagara Falls. The Falls must be 
seen; they cannot be described. After roaming over Goat 
Island, visiting the Cave of the Winds, the turret erected be- 
tween the American and the Canadian Falls, and the Whirl- 
pool, we crossed the river in a boat near the Falls to the 
Canadian side, drove down to Lundy's Lane battlefield, vis- 
ited the Brock monument, and recrossed again. Sophie, al- 
ways so fond of water, whether river, lake or stream, was de- 
lighted, and could hardly tear herself away from the sublime 
sight of the Falls. 

In the evening we took the train for Albany. We arrived 
there early in the morning, took breakfast at the Delavan 
House, where all the many waiters at the table were young 
and handsome girls, and then took the morning packet-boat 
for New York. Towards evening we landed at West Point, 
stopping at Cozzen's, the lower hotel at the foot of the hills, 
situated in a majestic forest. The house was crowded. It was 
the time just before the summer vacation of the cadets, when 
they were encamped and when the Government Board of 
Visitors, who have yearly to examine into the condition of the 
institution, was in session. At such times all the hotels in 
the neighborhood are full of visitors, partly parents, relatives 
and friends of the cadets, and partly strangers who come to 



12 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

enjoy the beautiful scenery or the military exercises. In the 
morning we went up to the top of the hill where the Academy 
is located, passed the camp, and, in company with Dr. Roman, 
of Belleville, who was one of the Board of Visitors, went to 
the cemetery. The site of it is most beautiful, right on the 
brink of the precipitous rock which bounds the West Point 
plateau on the north and opens up a vista up the river, which, 
before it enters the Narrows at West Point, expands into a 
lake. The city of Newburg, many other villages and villas 
border the river, and the Catskill Mountains appear in full 
view. On the west, still higher hills than the one on which 
the Academy is situated, rise, covered with majestic forest 
trees. Perhaps there is no more beautiful cemetery in the 
whole world. It is full of monuments of officers and cadets. 
Some of them are of fine workmanship. That for Theodore 
had not yet arrived from Philadelphia. His grave was well 
kept. We knelt down and decked it with flowers. On our re- 
turn from the cemetery we passed the parade-ground, where 
the cadets were executing their manosuvres. We did not stop, 
but hurried down; the sight of these youthful soldiers, of 
whom our boy had been one, saddened our hearts. 

The next boat brought us to New York. How different 
the city now was from when we first saw it in 1833! The 
Astor House then was nearly at the end of Broadway, and 
now it was far from being even in the center of that celebrated 
street. After stopping a day at the St. Nicholas, then the 
most splendid new hotel in the city, but after all a somewhat 
flashy one, and not being able to secure front rooms in one of 
the lower stories, (elevators not having been invented yet,) 
we moved to the Prescott House, a small but new and tastily 
built hotel, on the next corner to the St. Nicholas, kept in the 
European style, and in consequence much patronized by for- 
eigners, who do not like to pay for things which they do not 
get. We had a parlor and bedrooms on the second floor, front- 
ing Broadway. 

We met in New York Mr. Von Schrader, our Belleville 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 13 

friend, husband of Olivia Morrison, of Kaskaskia. With him 
we saw the sights, spent a most delightful day at Staten 
Island, which was doubly interesting to us as the place where 
twenty-three years ago for the first time Sophie and I had 
set foot on American soil. 

At the Academy of Music we heard Madame La Grange 
in ' ' Norma. ' ' She was then starring in the United States, in 
full possession of all her musical and dramatic powers. Wo 
had then no idea that we should hear her quite often at a 
later period. In Madrid, where she was the only prima donna 
the first winter we were there and part of the second winter 
also, when she took Patti 's place in Paris and Patti hers at 
Madrid, she was received in the best society. She was a well 
educated and intellectual woman, of greater dramatic power 
than Patti, though the latter in youth and voice, (Patti was 
just twenty when I heard her in Madrid,) was her superior. 
We visited several picture-galleries and other places of in- 
terest. 

Mr. Dorscheimer, of Buffalo, had also come to New York, 
a few days after our arrival. He hunted me up, and was so 
anxious to introduce me to Colonel Fremont, that I finally 
yielded, to please him. I never was fond of calling on prom- 
inent men, without some particular object. We went to the 
hotel, where we found him with Jessie Benton, his wife. I 
had, by accident, met Mr. Fremont several times before at 
Dr. Engelmann's house, when the Doctor was arranging the 
specimens of geology and botany Fremont had collected on 
his expeditions to the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Coast, 
with a view to describing and classifying them in his reports. 
He recognized me at once, but in his usual shy and reserved 
way. 

Dorscheimer talked politics all the time, and, of course, 
I gave it as my opinion that his nomination would be very 
acceptable to the German Republicans, which was entirely 
true. Fremont was tall and rather slender, but broad in the 
shoulders and breast. His fine-cut features showed his French 



14 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

origin. His hair was very full and black, his eyes dark gray. 
He looked more like a civilian than like a military man. He 
always appeared to me embarrassed. In a much later inter- 
view with Mrs. Fremont she remarked to me on a somewhat 
trying occasion : "0, if he only knew how to assert himself ! ' ' 
In the New York interview, Jessie Benton seemed to be far 
more interested in his success than he, in fact she bore the 
principal part of the conversation. She had a pleasant face, 
a fair complexion, and blue eyes, if I recollect aright, and she 
certainly could be called a very interesting woman. She 
seemed to be devoid of all affectation, but full of her father's 
resoluteness. 

EEPUBLICAN CONVENTION OF 1856 

From New York we went to Philadelphia in company 
with Mrs. Von Schrader. We arrived there the day before 
the Republican National Convention met. All the principal 
hotels were full to overflowing, and we were glad to find some 
poor rooms at the old United States Hotel, not far from Inde- 
pendence Hall. I was not a delegate. So in the morning of 
the Convention we strolled around town, visited Independence 
Hall, Franklin Institute, the United States Mint and other 
remarkable places. But about dinner time Senator Trumbull, 
who was a delegate, found me out, took me to the Girard 
House, introduced me to some of the most noted delegates, and 
insisted on taking me into the Convention. I went as a mere 
looker-on, though I was assigned a seat among the delegates. 
I think Lincoln was one of the delegates from Illinois. Of 
course, there was some difficulty about the platform. The con- 
servative Democrats and Whigs in the party did not want to 
go to extremes ; the few Abolitionists present, on the contrary, 
were for a general declaration of war against all slavery, not 
only in the Territories, but also in the States where it existed 
and had existed for a century and more and had been pro- 
tected by our Constitution. That part of the American party 
which had separated from the organization on account of its 
Pro-Slavery platform and had appeared in Philadelphia 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 15 

under the anodyne name of the People's party, was not yet 
disposed to declare itself in favor of political equality be- 
tween native and naturalized citizens. 

But the Democrats ruled the Convention. The platform 
declared, after a reference to the Declaration of Independence, 
that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the States, and 
the union of the States, should be forever preserved. It af- 
firmed for Congress absolute power to govern the Territories, 
and declared that in the exercise of that power it was both the 
right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the 
Territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and 
slavery. It then formulated a severe indictment against the 
lawless proceedings in Kansas, sustained by the government 
by military force. It declared that Kansas should immediately 
be admitted with the Constitution adopted by the Free State 
people of that Territory. In regard to the attempt to wrest 
Cuba from Spain, the platform used the following forcible 
language : ' ' The highwayman 's plea that ' might makes right, ' 
embodied in the Ostend Circular, was, in every respect, un- 
worthy of American diplomacy, and would bring shame and 
dishonor upon any government and people that gave it their 
sanction." It declared itself in favor of building railroads 
to the Pacific, and in favor of the improvement of rivers and 
harbors of national character. It did not say a word about 
a protective tariff, and concluded with the following resolu- 
tion, which was a pretty hard pill for the Native Americans 
to swallow: "Believing that the spirit of our institutions 
as well as the Constitution of our country guarantee liberty 
of conscience and equality of rights amongst citizens, we op- 
pose all proscriptive legislation affecting their security." 

This program, while written in an elevated and at the 
same time most vigorous style, contained a withering ar- 
raignment of the present Democratic administration for its 
action in Kansas, where it had supported the most flagrant 
Pro-Slavery measures of the "bogus" Legislature and of 
some United States officers. It bore evidence of the enthusi- 



16 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

asm of a new party determined to fight for a great principle, 
and not for office or emoluments, which so often before, and 
still oftener since, has been the only aim of party organiza- 
tion. 

And not only the platform, but the nominations of can- 
didates, bore the impress of the Democratic influence. Judge 
McLean, of the Supreme Court of the United States, a man of 
the highest character and a Free Soil Whig, was first pro- 
posed for nomination for President. The next one proposed 
was John C. Fremont. Then rose, with the greatest uncon- 
cern, the tall, robust form of my friend, Philip Dorscheimer, 
the miller's son from Woellstein in Rhenish Hesse, amidst an 
assembly consisting of United States senators and members 
of the Lower House, governors and ex-governors, judges, and 
distinguished editors and professors, and spoke something like 
this, in a stentorian voice : " I am a plain old German, no 
politician but I can tell this assembly that I know my 
countrymen, and they will vote for no one more cheerfully 
than for John C. Fremont, who is well known to them as the 
pathfinder, and the one who first planted the Stars and Stripes 
on the face of Mexican California." As he spoke English 
with the most pronounced Rhenish Bavarian accent, only a 
few understood what he said; but it was gathered, neverthe- 
less, that the Germans would insist on Fremont's nomination, 
and would hardly vote for anyone else. He was immensely 
cheered, and Fremont, an original Democrat, was nominated. 
Dayton, United States Senator from New Jersey, who had 
filled the highest offices in his State, a Free Soil Whig, was 
then nominated for Vice-President. Lincoln, however, re- 
ceived one hundred and ten votes, the highest vote given for 
any of the rival candidates for the office. 

That the Free Soil Democrats, though in a minority, suc- 
ceeded so well in the Convention, as well as in the campaign 
of 1856, was but natural. The Democratic party had been 
in power in the nation, as well as in most of the States, with 
the exception of one term (Taylor and Fillmore, 1849 to 



THE OUTLOOK IN 1856 17 

1853), ever since Jefferson's election in 1800. Its members in 
every generation bore the burden of government. Who gov- 
erns must have resolution, must take responsibilities ; he must 
acquire self-confidence and self-reliance; in other words, he 
is naturally trained to command ; he is apt to learn the prac- 
tical management of parties and men generally, and to steer 
the ship safely over bars and through storms. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

Presidential Campaign of 1856 

I had hardly returned from Philadelphia, when I learned 
what I had long fearfully expected, the death of Pauline 
on the 18th of June, 1856. She had long wished for it. 
Years before she had written: "0, my dear brother, could I 
have but one day of perfect health, how gladly would I die 
on the evening of it!" Though I could hardly have desired 
to see her intense suffering prolonged, and though I had tried 
to make myself familiar with the idea of losing her, yet I was 
deeply moved when the long foreseen event happened. Paul- 
ine, from her beauty, before long continued sickness had 
impaired it, from her sweet temper, her warm-hearted affec- 
tionate devotion to us all, her lofty and clear mind, had made 
herself the sunshine of our lives. Since the critical night of 
the third of April, she had been my most faithful correspon- 
dent. We exchanged our views upon all family affairs, upon 
all public events, upon literature and art. She took the most 
intense interest in all that concerned Sophie and the children. 
Separated thousands of miles, we lived in close soul-commun- 
ion. The chord that had bound me to my former home was 
broken by her departure. My desire to see my native land 
again before death had now almost ceased. 

The time had arrived to enter the political contest, a 
contest hitherto unparalleled in bitterness and violence. The 
young, fresh party, under an attractive leader, for Fre- 
mont 's name at that time was a tower of strength because of 
his youth, his daring exploits, the pluck and endurance he 
had shown, his efforts for freedom in California, his almost 
world-wide reputation as a scientific and valiant explorer, 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 19 

entered the battle with an enthusiasm only surpassed by the 
conflict in 1860. The Northern Pro-Slavery Democrats fought 
under their idol, Douglas, the "little giant," whose political 
destiny was at stake; and the Southerners were fighting a 
mortal combat for their domestic institution, upon which they 
believed their political and earthly fortune depended. 

INFLUENCE OF THE KNOW NOTHINGS 

The battle became complicated by the existence of a third 
party, which, owing to the disintegration of the Whigs, had 
for the last few years become more formidable than ever, 
the Native American party. Before this, that party was what 
might be called an open party. It had meetings in some 
States, and also a sort of National Convention, but in elec- 
tions its members usually voted as they pleased. But some 
ambitious and cunning, mostly brokendown politicians had 
organized it into a secret society, establishing lodges, with all 
kinds of absurd mystic rights, in which members were initi- 
ated, sworn to obey their superiors, to keep their doings secret, 
and to answer all questions by saying, "I know nothing." 
Hence their popular name of ' ' Know Nothings. ' ' The Amer- 
ican people have a remarkable inclination for secret societies, 
though these often are merely benevolent and social organi- 
zations, perfectly harmless, with no objects that need shun 
publicity. But they relish mummeries, like to wear badges, 
have watchwords and signs, calling their lodges by high- 
sounding names, which most of the members do not even 
understand, and bestowing on their officers the most superla- 
tively nonsensical titles. Thousands of young men joined this 
party just because of this nonsense, and of their meetings 
in the woods or in deserted places, at night time, bearing 
dark lanterns. Hence also their nickname, the "Dark Lan- 
tern Party." These lodges elected delegates to a State and 
a National convention. Their yearly National Convention 
was also held at Philadelphia early in the year. It nominated 



20 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Ex-President Millard Fillmore for President and Andrew 
Jackson Donelson, of Tennessee, for Vice-President. 

The platform declared for the Union and the Constitu- 
tion, that Americans must rule America, that only native- 
born citizens should be elected to any office whatever, that 
none but citizens should have a right to vote, and that the 
naturalization laws should be so changed that no one could 
become a citizen unless he had resided twenty-one years in 
the United States. It condemned the opening of the slavery 
question by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, but at 
the same time adopted the Squatter Sovereignty of Douglas, 
allowing the people in the Territories to introduce slavery 
if they wished, without interference of Congress. Upon the 
adoption of this part of the platform most of the Northern 
Know Nothings retired from the Convention and declared 
themselves not bound by it. 

This party, at least as regards the vote of the for- 
eign-born population, had a very injurious influence in 
the coming election. It was supposed, and with some reason, 
that many of the Northern Know Nothings, on account of the 
slavery question, would join the Republican party, without 
renouncing their hostility to all alien-born, and might exercise 
thus a malignant influence on the Republican party. The 
Democratic party had from the earliest times been in favor 
of liberal laws concerning naturalization and had denounced 
most decidedly the Native American party since its formation. 
Douglas made no speech in vindication of his course on the 
slavery question without improving the opportunity of recall- 
ing to mind the traditional liberal policy of the Democrats 
regarding aliens, and without denouncing most strongly the 
principles of the American party. Other Democratic speak- 
ers did the same, and they were justified in doing so. The 
Republican party was characterized by him and by others as 
being a mixture of old "Whigs, Know Nothings, Abolitionists, 
and some few disappointed Democratic traitors. This, of 
course, was a demagogical fiction. 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 21 

The Northern Whigs had a right to hold opinions on the 
present issue different from Mr. Douglas. The Free Soil 
Democrats, who united with them, were counted by hundreds 
of thousands. The Abolitionists and Free Soil Know Noth- 
ings were an insignificant fraction of the great Republican 
party, which cast nearly a million and a half votes at the fall 
election. Yet it w r as quite natural, that under the circum- 
stances the voters of foreign birth, who had almost unani- 
mously belonged to the Democratic party, should hesitate long 
before they joined a new party, among whom they recog- 
nized a great many people who had been always opposed to 
them. Yet the Germans were so much opposed to slavery 
that, with the exception of the Catholics amongst them, against 
whom the Know Nothings had more particularly directed 
their assaults, it may be said that almost all marched to the 
polls under the Republican banner. Yet the Catholic element 
in many places was very strong, and the stand they took for 
the Pro-Slavery Democracy impaired the strength of the 
Republican party very greatly. 

CAMPAIGN INCIDENTS 

I was soon in the midst of the fight. If I could have 
answered all the calls that were made on me from every part 
of the State and the neighboring States of Iowa, Wisconsin, 
Indiana, and Missouri, I should have had to double myself 
and speak every day from August to November. I spoke, how- 
ever, at many places, among many others, at Milwaukee, 
Chicago, Quincy, Springfield, Peru, Peoria, Bloomington, 
Alton, and in every town and precinct in St. Clair, and in 
many precincts of the adjoining counties. 

In Milwaukee I met Carl Schurz for the first time, in the 
midst of his family. We were together, however, only a few 
hours. I had arrived in the afternoon, and he was to leave 
for Buffalo at six o'clock in the evening to fulfill a speaking 
engagement. Carl Schurz is so well known by his pictures in 
all the illustrated papers for the last twenty years that no 



description of his personal appearance is needed. He who 
has once seen him will never forget him. His manners and 
conversation struck me then as most delightful. Comparing 
notes, we found our views on politics and everything else in 
full harmony. 

Speaking of Milwaukee, I found a custom there of pub- 
lic speaking quite novel to me. It was then quite cold, some- 
what late in October, but nevertheless the mass-meeting I was 
to address was to be held at night and in the open air on the 
hills. It was quite dark. I wondered how a meeting could 
be held at such a time in such a place. But when I arrived 
at the stand, I found that immense fires had been built around 
the platform throwing their lurid light over a large space. 
I was told that all night meetings were held in that style. I 
must say that I found this sort of arrangement quite uncom- 
fortable. There was a rough blast from the lake that nearly 
took one's breath away, and the smoke from the piles of fire 
was almost stifling. It required a good deal of resolution to 
attempt a speech under such untoward circumstances. But 
I had been told that Milwaukee was a Democratic stronghold 
on account of its very large Catholic population, and so I had 
to do my best. Some other meetings must have been held at 
the same time, for I saw similar big fires on other hills. 

The fight for Fremont and for Bissell, who had been nom- 
inated at the State Convention for Governor, was compara- 
tively an easy one in the northern part of the State. Nearly 
all prominent Northern Democrats had joined the Republican 
party, as well as a great majority of the former Whigs. 
Nearly all the leading papers advocated the Republican ticket, 
the "Chicago Tribune," the "Evening Journal," the German 
* ' Staatszeitung. " In the middle of the State it was quite 
different. A great many of the Whigs, who had come from 
the Southern States, turned Democrats on the slavery ques- 
tion. In fact, with the exception of Lincoln, Judge Davis 
and a few other prominent Whigs, the other leaders of the 
old Whig party became most ardent Douglas men. In the 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 23 

capital, most of the influential Democrats stood up enthusiast- 
ically for Douglas. The Know Nothing party was not partic- 
ularly strong in that part of the State. Still, the outlook for 
the Republican party there was infinitely better than in the 
southern part of the State, where the old "Whigs, mostly of 
Southern extraction, had joined in part the Democratic party 
or the Know Nothings. It was only in a few counties, 
such as Madison, and above all St. Glair, that the large major- 
ity of the Democrats joined the Republican party, and this was 
largely owing to the preponderance of the German vote. The 
most southern part of the State was almost unanimous against 
the Republicans. Here was the hardest and most bitter fight. 
A few incidents affecting me personally may illustrate 
the character of the contest. Marion County had been at all 
times an intensely Democratic county. Under the lead of a 
very few intelligent and determined gentlemen a Republican 
party had been formed, or rather was forming. Early in the 
canvass, I was invited to address a Republican meeting at 
Salem, the county-seat. The meeting was to take place in the 
court house after dinner. To counteract this meeting, the 
Democrats had called another at the same time and place, and 
when the Republican committee and myself went towards the 
court house, we learned that the Democrats had already 
taken possession there and were organizing a meeting. It was 
concluded that we would hold our meeting in the public 
square surrounding the court house, and while a sort of plat- 
form was being erected, a judge of one of our circuits, a rabid 
Democrat, but a warm personal friend of mine, came to me, 
stating that the people in the court room were very much 
excited, that they would most likely try to break up our meet- 
ing, and as some of our men were known to be high-spirited 
and quick on the trigger, there would be bloodshed. Other 
Democrats gave the committee similar information, begging 
them to postpone their meeting to another day when not so 
many Democrats would be in town. There was little dispo- 
sition to yield. The Republicans had announced their meet- 



24 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ing first. A very respectable citizen, however, whose resi- 
dence was on the public square, and who had a large enclosed 
lawn in front of his house, stepped forward, saying : "I am 
not a Republican, but I am for free speech. Come into my 
yard and hold your meeting here, and if anyone comes inside 
and misbehaves, 1 11 turn him out mighty quick. ' ' The prop- 
osition was accepted. And one hundred Republicans and 
several dozen ladies went into the enclosure, leaving, however, 
the gate wide open. A table was brought out on which I took 
my stand. A great many Democrats, however, feeling a curi- 
osity to hear a Republican speech, had come over from the 
court house, but stayed outside. Many knew me, for I had 
occasionally practiced in that county. All knew my politics. 
I opened about in this way: 

"I am glad to see so many Democrats here to hear what I 
have to say. I have been a Democrat all my life and am yet 
one. I am with you on all points in the Democratic cate- 
chism and mean to stay with you, except on one, which is an 
entirely new one, of which you knew nothing a year or two 
ago. I am opposed to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise 
and to the reopening of the slavery agitation. You know as 
well as I do, that the Missouri Compromise, which forbade 
slavery in the Territory out of which Kansas and Nebraska 
are now formed, was a Southern measure voted for at the time 
by the entire Southern delegation in Congress, and considered 
a great concession to the South, as Missouri was admitted as 
a Slave State only on condition that the other territory west 
of it should be forever free territory. No one ever disapproved 
of it up to 1850, when some Southern Ultras, on the occasion 
of admitting California, expressed their dissatisfaction with 
that compromise, made thirty years before. But how did 
Douglas in the Senate meet their complaint? 'The Missouri 
Compromise, ' he most emphatically and beautifully exclaimed, 
'is a sacred thing, canonized in the hearts of the American 
people, and no ruthless hand ought to dare to disturb it.' 
Then, my Democratic friends, I stood by the declaration of 
Mr. Douglas, and heartily approved of it. But since then he 
has introduced a bill repealing the sacred compact, and by his 
almost superhuman exertions has passed it. Who has 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 25 

changed, he or I ? Have I, as he and his friends have charged 
me, become an Abolitionist, a traitor to my party?" 

By this time the leading men in the crowd outside became 
somewhat restless. They whispered 'round and left, and many 
followed them; but many remained and most attentively list- 
ened to my speech, and when the Republicans cheered at the 
close of it very loudly and the ladies rose and waved their 
handkerchiefs, many of the outsiders joined in lustily. The 
meeting turned out very satisfactorily and Marion County 
polled quite a respectable Republican vote at the election, con- 
sidering that it was one of the strongest Democratic counties. 
One thing pleased me much. In walking back to my hotel, 
an old Pennsylvania German, who was much respected on 
account of his wealth and who, I am told, had filled several 
county offices, came up to me, shook hands, and said: "Lands- 
man, you have got me this time. I have never voted for any 
man that was not a Democrat ; but I will vote for Bissell and 
the other Republican folks on the State ticket anyhow." 

At another time, in Evansville, in Randolph County, close 
to the Monroe County line, I had to speak to another Repub- 
lican meeting. A good many Irishmen from Monroe County 
were in the crowd, all rampant Democrats. In my speech, 
I of course mentioned Douglas several times, though always 
respectfully. A rough-looking Irishman had interrupted me 
several times, not by putting questions but by cursing and 
groaning. I mentioned the name of Douglas again, when he 
yelled : ' ' Hush up ! If you talk of Mr. Douglas agin, I '11 
shoot your head off!" With this he pulled a big pistol out 
of his coat-pocket and held it towards me. The sheriff of 
Randolph County, a Democrat, but a warm personal friend 
of mine, who had had his suspicions of the fellow and stood 
close by him, at once grabbed his arm and wrenched the pistol 
from his hand and rushed him out of the crowd pretty 
roughly. I went on speaking and met with no further 
trouble. 



26 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

POLITICS AT MUD CREEK 

Another, rather more humorous, scene happened in St. 
Clair County, when I was making a speech in the Mud Creek 
settlement, at the big Catholic Church of St. Libory, near the 
line of Washington County. All the settlers there, and there 
were many, were Low Dutch, mostly from the Muenster 
country, devoted Catholics and staunch Democrats. On week 
days it was almost impossible to get up a meeting there. They 
were most industrious people, who would not leave their hoes 
or their plows for the hearing of any kind of speech. So it 
had become the habit of candidates at election-times to drive 
out there on Sundays, when there were always large congre- 
gations at church. Service over, the men would resort to 
beer-houses, and the women would do their trading at the 
big store. That was the time when candidates would make 
their addresses. So one Sunday in October I went out accom- 
panied by John B. Hay, the Republican candidate for State's 
Attorney, and old Conrad Bornman, candidate for the Legis- 
lature. We were a little late, for when we arrived there was 
already a meeting in progress. The Democrats had antici- 
pated us. Don Morrison, candidate for Congress, having 
found out that we were going over, had sent Francis J. Grund 
there and some of his minions from Belleville. William R. 
Morrison, usually called Bill Morrison, from Monroe County, 
a host in himself, was also on the ground. 

Of Grund I have spoken at large in my "German Ele- 
ment." He was a man of vast information, a popular 
speaker, famous in Washington City as a bright, sensational 
newspaper correspondent, but a real Dugald Dalgetty hi 
politics. Douglas had enlisted him to keep the Germans 
straight. He had already made a speech at Belleville while 
I was absent, and I had never seen him before. He was an old 
looking, fat and sturdy person, reminding me of a jolly, well- 
fed Catholic friar. He stood on a wagon, and had spoken 
for some time. In that part of the speech which I heard, 
he did not say a word of the real question at issue. He eulo- 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 27 

gized Douglas and the Democratic party for their love of the 
alien-born, for their defense of the Catholics, and for their 
denunciation of the Know Nothings. The Black Republicans 
such was the title the Democrats gave us were made up, 
he said, principally of long-faced, white-livered, hypocritical 
Yankees, who sold wooden nutmegs and cheated the honest 
farmers with lightning rods and Yankee clocks. They would 
not allow a man to cook meals on the Sabbath, or kiss his 
wife, or take a walk for pleasure. Most of the Republicans 
were temperance people and hated the Germans because they 
would drink beer even on Sundays and would sing and dance 
on the Lord's day. Another part of the party were rank 
Abolitionists, who would break up the Union, and another 
faction of them were Know Nothings. Surely the people 
around him, who were good Catholics and were fond of a glass 
of lager, would not vote for such a party. 

Of course this was a very effective speech for that crowd, 
and I was forced to adopt a different, and to me unusual, line 
of argument, if argument it can be called, to offset his talk, 
which he delivered with a good deal of humor and with a sort 
of pleasing familiarity with the audience. In the heat of 
his speech he had not noticed me, or if he had, he did not know 
who I was. When he left the wagon, I jumped up on it. 
"This gentleman," I commenced, "is Francis J. Grund, a 
most distinguished gentleman from Washington City. He has 
had to travel a thousand miles to come to Mud Creek. Surely 
Mr. Douglas and his cause must be hard pressed to send out 
such a famous statesman to teach my friends on Mud Creek 
for whom to vote for Governor of Illinois, or for Congress- 
man for this district, or for members of the Legislature or 
sheriff or constable of St. Clair County. Don't you know 
Colonel Bissell, don't you know John B. Hay, don't you 
know William C. Kinney, don't you know Conrad Bornman, 
don 't you know Colonel Thomas, our candidate for Congress ? 
Are they blue-bellied Yankees, long-faced hypocrites? Don't 
they kiss their wives every day, and don't they like lager- 



28 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

beer or good whiskey as well as you do, and yet they are all 
Black Republicans? I don't know what the learned gentle- 
man has told you about the real question, about the extension 
of slavery, the infamous proceedings in Kansas. But let me 
tell you, and I regret to have it to say, that the gentleman is 
not a trustworthy authority. He has changed his coat so 
often that, if he has any principles, they sit very lightly on 
him. In 1836 he was a most rabid Democrat. He wrote 
for campaign purposes a life of Martin Van Buren, the Demo- 
cratic candidate, praising Mr. Van Buren to the skies, and 
in the German translation made him out to be a full-blooded 
Dutchman, fond of raising cabbage, a friend to the foreigners, 
a daring opponent of all banks and of a high tariff. He 
exhorted the Germans to vote for him and against Harrison, 
who was a Federalist, a bank and tariff Whig and a Know 
Nothing to boot." 

Grund grew pale and very restive, knowing what was 
coming. He interrupted me, saying that he had used no per- 
sonalities against me, and he hoped that I would treat him 
like a gentleman. "Well," said I, "I have not thus far said 
anything against you. What you said of Mr. Van Buren 's 
political principles I said myself at the time. Did you not 
write a campaign biography of Mr. Van Buren 1 Yes or No ? ' ' 
Of course he could not deny it. ' ' And now " I continued 
' ' would you believe it, for some reason or another this dis- 
tinguished gentleman in 1840 turned clear round, supported 
General Harrison, and to crown the whole he wrote a cam- 
paign biography in German for General Harrison, the high 
tariff and bank man, the Know Nothing, whom he had 
denounced and ridiculed in 1836, and vilified Van Buren 
more bitterly even than he had vilified Harrison." 

By this time I had noticed that the Democratic leaders 
present had become much agitated. They circulated among 
the crowd, and all at once the owner of the wagon came with 
his horses and commenced hitching them on, saying that his 
wife wanted him to go home. I had to jump down, but 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 29- 

mounted again on a big log; the meeting being in a tall 
woods surrounding the church. The crowd followed me ; but 
some fellows tried to roll the log, in which, however, they did 
not succeed. Some Democrats suggested another mode to 
prevent me speaking. The ground was full of dry leaves and 
branches and high weeds. They set these on fire, and lit- 
erally smoked me and the audience out. I then took a stand 
on the porch of the big store, there finishing my speech. 
Mr. Hay also made a speech, but by that time the great mass 
of the people had left. Grund had left before I had jumped 
from the wagon, very downcast. We learned that the Demo- 
crats had arranged another meeting for him in the prairie at 
Brenner's store, some three or four miles from St. Libory. 
We expected, of course, he had gone there, and after we got 
through we drove supposedly after him to that store; but 
when we got there we learned that word had been sent from 
Mud Creek that Grund would not come, and the people had 
by the time we arrived nearly all dispersed. 

This adventure got into the papers; but Mr. Grund, who 
had been posted for another speech in Belleville, failed to 
appear, having evaporated. 

ACCUSED OF PURCHASING A NEGRO 

Both parties made tremendous efforts to carry the State. 
Mass-meetings were the order of the day. Palmer and myself 
early addressed a meeting at Alton, right on the bank of the 
Mississippi River. This meeting was said to be the largest 
ever before held at that place. Alton on account of its many 
Irish inhabitants was a Democratic city, and we were fre- 
quently interrupted by Democrats, a thing which we liked 
exceedingly. Whoever interrupts or questions a practical 
debater comes generally as badly off as he who undertakes to 
banter a clown in a circus. 

I can speak only of the meetings I witnessed myself. The 
Democrats got up an immense meeting at Belleville, in Fisch- 
er's Grove. But the immensity of the meeting was rather 
in the vast number of speakers than of hearers. Besides some 



30 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

three or four eminent Missouri speakers, there were present 
some of the best orators from Illinois, John A. McClernand, 
James Allen, James Robinson, John A. Logan, Robert J. 
Ingersoll, Don Morrison, William H. Snyder and others not 
now remembered. John A. Logan was one of the most vitu- 
perative speakers. He abused Colonel Bissell so as to disgust 
even his party friends. He did not spare me. Neither did 
some of the others. But, after all, the meeting did not have 
much effect. There were too many speakers, and they were 
in one another's way. There being a half a dozen stands, the 
crowd was so split up that each speaker had but a small audi- 
ence. Christian Kribben, of St. Louis, who spoke in German 
in his usual captivating style, had the biggest crowd. One 
of the speakers had the unfortunate idea to charge me with 
having myself at one time bought a negro. This forced me to 
explain the matter publicly, to the great annoyance of the 
Democrats. 

In 1853 a law had been passed, introduced by Logan and 
strongly advocated by him, which provided, that if any person 
should bring into this State a person having in him one- 
fourth negro blood, whether free or slave, he should be 
indicted and upon conviction should be fined not less than 
one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and 
be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one year. 
It further provided, that if any such negro or mulatto, slave 
or free, should come into the State and remain ten days with 
the evident intention of residing in the same, he might be 
taken before any justice of the peace, and, if found guilty 
by the jury, should be fined fifty dollars and costs, and, if 
unable to pay, should be publicly sold to any one who would 
pay the fine and costs, which purchaser should have the 
right to compel the negro or mulatto to work and serve out 
said time. If said negro or mulatto, after he had served out 
his time, did not leave the State, he should be fined one hun- 
dred dollars, and for every subsequent stay in the county 
fifty dollars were to be added to the fine last imposed. The 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 31 

informer was to receive part of the fine. This law was .popu- 
larly known as Logan's Black Law. 

In the fall of 1853, before there was any excitement on 
the slavery question, returning in my buggy from the Water- 
loo court and passing up Main Street, I noticed an unusually 
big crowd before the office of a justice of the peace. I stopped 
and inquired the cause of it from the bystanders. ' ' They are 
selling a nigger," was the answer. I passed on a little, tied 
my team, and made my way through the crowd into the office. 
I asked the justice what it all meant. "This negro," he 
said, "was convicted some time ago of having been in the 
State ten days, and of intending to stay; he has accordingly 
been sent to jail, and now, upon notice, he is to be sold as the 
law directs. The constable is just about to cry the sale." 
"As long as I live in Belleville," I observed, "no man shall 
be sold here if I can help it. What is the bill ? " " Fifty dol- 
lars fine, and seventeen dollars costs." I pulled out my 
purse, (gold was then circulating as freely as paper,) and 
paid the money down on the justice's table. There was a 
crowd of black people standing around, who seemed to be 
greatly excited, and faintly cheered me when they took the 
poor devil away. 

The Democrats, afterwards, when they found themselves 
hurt by this explanation of my purchasing a negro, started 
the report that a subscription had been started to reimburse 
me; but I never heard of this, and I never received a cent 
back. Other Democrats charged that I had done it to get 
votes. But there was no election pending then, and I was not 
a candidate at that time, nor for several years afterwards. 
The black people then had no votes, but when they got them 
in 1868, the first thing they did was to vote against me, when 
I was running on the Liberal and Democratic ticket in 1872 
for governor, and to vote for John A. Logan for congress- 
man at large in 1870. When I liberated this negro, for it 
idid not come to a sale, I was a Democrat in good standing. 
The Democrats have frequently contended that the Logan 



32 

Law had always been a dead letter; but this case shows the 
contrary, as does also that most infamous case against John 
M. Palmer, who, after returning from the war as a major- 
general, had brought an intelligent black boy, who had been 
his private servant, with him to his home in Carlinville and 
was actually indicted by a grand jury of Macoupin County 
for violation of the first section of the Black Law. 

To offset this great demonstration we Republicans had a 
very large meeting in West's Grove. We had only two speak- 
ers from abroad, Senator Zachariah Chandler, of Michigan, 
and Senator Doolittle, of Wisconsin. But they were a host in 
themselves. Both of them were men of most imposing pres- 
ence, very tall and strongly built. Chandler was very cutting 
and amusingly sarcastic. He was not a trained speaker, but 
a rather original one, a little rough, but pleased his audi- 
ence exceedingly. Doolittle was logical, dignified, and impres- 
sive; he had a splendid voice and a splendid delivery. Both 
got through in a little less than two hours. But the very large 
audience was so interested that they all stayed and called for 
more speakers. I had to bring up the rear and keep the 
crowd until dark. 

Colonel Bissell's health was so much impaired that he 
could not canvass the State to any extent. He made a short 
but beautiful speech at the public square in Belleville, and 
another speech from his buggy at Waterloo in a grove. Colonel 
Richardson, the Douglas candidate, also came down to Belle- 
ville and addressed the people. He was a big powerful man, 
very uncouth in his manners, but a man of great energy and 
force of will, being Douglas's lieutenant in the Lower House 
of Congress. He had sense and fluency, but his language was 
anything but choice. I did not think he pleased the Belleville 
people much. 

LINCOLN AT BELLEVILLE 

Pretty early in the canvass Mr. Lincoln came down to 
Belleville. He stopped at John Scheel's. I took him around 
in the morning to many of the Republican families. Towards 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 33 

evening he spoke at the place where the City Hall and Market 
House now are. He was even at that time not much known in 
that part of the State. His great reputation as an extraordi- 
nary speaker he acquired two years later in his contest for 
the Senate against Douglas. Still, he had a large and highly 
intelligent audience. A great many ladies, a novelty thus 
far at a political meeting in this region, had turned out, and 
we had provided for them long benches in front of the 
speaker. He spoke in an almost conversational tone, but with 
such earnestness and such deep feeling upon the question of 
the day that he struck the hearts of all his hearers. Referring 
to the fact that here, as well as in other places where he had 
spoken, he had found the Germans more enthusiastic for the 
cause of freedom than all other nationalities, he, almost with 
tears in his eyes, broke out in the words: "God bless the 
Dutch!" Everybody felt that he said this in the simplicity 
of his heart, using the familiar name of Dutch as the Ameri- 
cans do when amongst themselves. A smart politician would 
not have failed to say "Germans." But no one took offense. 
I had the pleasure of introducing him to the assemblage. 

NOMINATED FOR CONGRESS ON THE REPUBLICAN TICKET 

General Palmer had asked me quite early to be a candi- 
date for Congress in the Belleville district. Many similar 
solicitations reached me when the campaign commenced. Nat- 
urally reluctant as I was to give up in a measure my profes- 
sional business, upon which the existence of my family and 
in part that of other dear relatives of the family depended, 
I was also satisfied that no Republican could be elected at that 
time in our district. St. Clair might give a respectable major- 
ity for me. Madison and perhaps Bond might give very 
small ones ; but in the rest of the counties the Douglas major- 
ities would be overwhelming. The Squatter Sovereignty 
dodge had captured by this time even a good many Anti- 
Nebraska men. Monroe County alone, which was almost 
unanimously Anti-Republican, would overwhelm our majori- 



34 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ties in St. Clair, Madison and Bond. Besides, there was the 
Know Nothing party, counting thousands of voters in the 
district, who, if I were the candidate, would, by their oaths, 
have been bound to vote against me, whatever their notions 
might have been on the slavery question. So I declined to 
run, explaining my peculiar position to my friends. But 
there was also a State senator to be elected from Monroe and 
St. Clair for four years. Monroe, having had the senatorship 
before, did not think it prudent to nominate a Monroe man, 
for fear that St. Clair, by far the largest county, would take 
offense and from jealousy defeat any Monroe candidate. The 
Democrats of St. Clair nominated for the office Judge Under- 
wood, an original Anti-Nebraska man, who had now changed 
parties. Knowing the Democratic strength of Monroe, no 
Republican candidate offered himself. It got to be very late 
in the canvass and so a nomination for Congress was forced 
upon me. It was hoped the Know Nothings would make a 
nomination of their own, which would give the Republicans 
a chance for an open fight with the Democrats. But the 
Democrats managed the matter by making various promises 
for minor offices to Know Nothings in such a way that they 
made no nominations. It became certain then that I could 
not succeed, for to beat me was their sworn duty, and they 
would undoubtedly vote for my opponent, though most of 
them disliked him as being a twisty politician. 

RESULTS OF THE ELECTION 

At last the decisive day, the first Tuesday in November, 
came round. Buchanan succeeded to the Presidency, receiv- 
ing one hundred and seventy-two electoral votes to Fremont's 
one hundred and fourteen. Pennsylvania and Indiana were 
carried only by very small majorities by the Democrats. Had 
they gone the other way, Fremont would have been elected. 
Buchanan carried the day by a plurality only. Fillmore and 
Fremont combined had a majority of nearly four hundred 
thousand over Buchanan. 



CAMPAIGN OF 1856 35 

In Illinois the election resulted rather curiously. 
Buchanan beat Fremont about 9,000 votes, but as Fillmore 
received nearly 38,000, it was clear that the combined Fre- 
mont and Fillmore vote was in a very large majority over 
Buchanan. Oolonel Bissell had a majority of nearly 5,000 over 
Eichardson and was elected, but as Morris, the Know Nothing 
candidate, received in the neighborhood of 20,000, Bissell was 
elected by a minority, the same as Buchanan. In our Con- 
gressional district, the Congressional candidates, Thomas of 
St. Clair and Lansing of Bond, were beaten by a considerable 
majority by Don Morrison for the short term, and Robert 
Smith, a shrewd, wily politician, who had formerly been a 
member of Congress, but had been resurrected for the occa- 
sion, was elected for the long term. St. Clair County gave 
three hundred majority for Fremont, the only county south 
of a line drawn from east to west through Bloomington, 
McLean County, that gave him any majority at all. Fillmore 
got about seven hundred votes, which of course all went 
against me. I had a hundred more votes than Fremont in 
St. Clair, but Monroe County, as was expected, went some 
five or six hundred for Underwood. We elected, however, 
one member to the Legislature. Bornman, the other candi- 
date, being a native of Germany, though he had come over 
quite young and had lived over forty years in the county, was 
beaten, the same as I, by the Know Nothings fusing with the 
Democrats. 

How hard it was to break the force of the Democrats in 
Southern Illinois was shown by the fact that in about twenty 
of these counties Fremont did not get one hundred votes in 
each. In Jackson County, where Logan resided and domi- 
nated, Fremont got but five, and in an adjoining county but 
two votes ; and one of these voters, a schoolmaster, was driven 
out of the county after the election. Upon the whole the 
Illinois Republicans were pleased. They had gained the Gov- 
ernor, Lieutenant-Governor, John Woods of Quincy, all the 
State officers, and had reduced the majority of the Democrats 



36 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

in the Legislature to a very small margin. This half victory 
was owing to the northern part of the State, which by its 
vote had neutralized and overcome the immense majorities 
given in the south and in many counties in the middle of the 
State for Douglas and for slavery extension. 

PERSONAL 

Looking back over the past five years, it occurs to me 
that they were the most trying and eventful since my mar- 
riage. Not to speak of the great political convulsions, which 
drove me into new relations, severing many most pleasant ties 
and causing many disagreeable frictions, in 1852 our dear 
Fritzchen was taken from us. In 1854 the terrible catastro- 
phe of the loss at sea of my brother-in-law Jacob and his com- 
panions occurred, soon to be followed by the death of our 
beloved father Engelmann, and in 1855 we had to deplore the 
hardest stroke of all, the loss of our first born. Pauline, my 
sister, left us the year following. 

During nearly all this time I suffered from an inflamma- 
tion of the eyes, which at times made me almost blind and 
which did not leave me permanently until the year 1857. 
Had it not been that the sun broke sometimes through the 
clouds, lightening up our path, I do not see how Sophie and 
I could have borne all these misfortunes with the fortitude 
we did. But we had the sympathy of many warm friends, 
and the appreciation of the community we lived in. Our 
innermost home was the scene of perfect contentment, and the 
children left to us were a constant source of gladness, by their 
promising mental and physical development. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Illinois and Germany in 1857 

On the first Monday in January, 1857, the new Legisla- 
ture met. But by the new Constitution the Governor and 
Lieutenant-Governor were not installed until a week after- 
wards. In the Senate, thirteen Pro-Slavery Democrats had 
been elected and twelve Republicans. In the House the Dem- 
ocrats had thirty-eight, the Republicans thirty-one, and the 
Native Americans six members. This was owing to the unjust 
laying out of the election districts some years before, which 
were so arranged as to secure Democratic majorities. At 
the last election the injustice had become very manifest. For 
instance Cook County, with an estimated population of 150,- 
000 people, elected but one senator under this apportionment, 
while St. Clair and Monroe together, with a population of 
only 50,000, also elected one. St. Clair with 25,000 people 
elected two representatives and Cook County but three. If 
Cook County, which was largely Republican, had had its due 
representation, the Legislature on that account alone would 
have been Republican. And this is but one instance. The 
north of the State had, within the last five years, increased its 
population in a far greater ratio than the south. The popu- 
lar vote disclosed a large Republican majority on the Leg- 
islative ticket. With the help of some of the Know Nothings, 
the Democrats organized the House and elected the officers, 
amongst others a violent out-and-out Know Nothing. 

OPENING OF THE LEGISLATURE IN 1857 

It became now a subject of great importance for Governor 
Bissell to prepare his inaugural message. Here was a hostile 



38 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Legislature, which would thwart nearly every measure the 
Governor would recommend. It would be hostile to the 
Republican policy. Although in reality it was a mere fic- 
tion, the opposing faction still had to be treated respectfully 
as representing the majority of the people. The Governor 
and myself spent many an hour in serious consideration. To 
ignore the burning questions of the day would have been pus- 
illanimous. He had publicly denounced and voted in Con- 
gress against slavery extension, had been elected on that prin- 
ciple, and was bound to vindicate it. The Native Americans 
in the Legislature might have been reconciled by being let 
alone, but that would have been against his convictions, and 
also short-sighted policy ; for what had hurt us most with the 
large foreign vote in the last election, was the charge that 
the Republican party was made up to a great extent of Know 
Nothings and that it would have to make that party conces- 
sions injurious to the rights of aliens. It was also deemed 
necessary that the Legislature should be earnestly reminded 
of their constitutional obligations to pass a new law district- 
ing the State according to the population of the last census of 
1855. Having agreed upon those parts of the message which 
should vindicate the course the Republican party had taken 
on the slavery question and those which should declare in 
favor of the present liberal policy towards foreign-born citi- 
zens and against every attempt to curtail their rights, and 
also those which called the attention of the Legislature to the 
rank injustice of the existing division of the election districts, 
I could trust the wording of the document safely to the Gover- 
nor, whose mastery of style was undisputed. 

And in fact, while he wrote earnestly, yet these topics 
were treated in a manner which could give no offense to any 
reasonable opponent. But his opponents were not reasonable. 
Having been in power so long, having kept the North so long 
in political subjection, they had become raving mad in Illi- 
nois at their partial defeat and the clear conviction that the 
days of their power were numbered. 



ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 1857 39 

On the second Monday of January, Governor Bissell not 
being able to stand the fatigue of going to the State House 
and of reading his message, both Houses headed by the old 
officers marched to the Governor's mansion, where in their 
presence Judge Caton administered the oath of office to Gov- 
ernor Bissell. They then marched to the State House. I 
delivered a brief valedictory in the Senate Chamber and intro- 
duced my successor, Lieutenant-Governor Woods. In the 
Lower House, the message having been read by the Clerk, 
the usual motion was made to print 20,000 copies of the mes- 
sage. Thereupon John A. Logan moved to amend by making 
it 10,000 only, which gave him an opportunity to make a 
speech. After denouncing the principles of the message as 
to the slavery question and abusing the Republican party in 
the coarsest billingsgate, he attacked Governor Bissell per- 
sonally, particularly for his having taken the oath of office, 
when it embodied, among other things, the assertion that he 
had never fought a duel or accepted a challenge. Now it was 
contended by most lawyers in the State, that inasmuch as 
Governor Bissell, even if he had accepted a challenge, had not 
done so in Illinois, he could not be punished in Illinois, and 
that, therefore, he had not accepted a challenge in the sense 
that the Illinois law forbade. But Jefferson Davis and Govern- 
or Bissell contended that while certain communications had 
passed between them and also between their respective friends, 
there had never been a technical challenge given or accepted. 
An impartial historian of the State of Illinois speaks of this 
speech of Logan's in the following manner: 

"Logan followed up his motion by a speech of two days' 
duration, which in severity of language excelled perhaps any- 
thing that that gentleman has ever uttered. It shocked the 
better sense of all considerate men not wholly devoured by 
partisan malignity and must have deeply wounded the sensi- 
tive feelings of Bissell 's high-strung nature, rendered more 
acute by a long entailed, enfeebling nervous disorder." 

Logan was, however, so severely handled by such men as 
Arnold, Church, and Denio, that in spite of the help he got 



40 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

from some other Democrats he came out of the combat very 
badly punished. The Republicans a few days afterwards held 
a grand jubilee meeting at the State House. I was honored 
with the presidency. The speaking to the crowded house was 
really extraordinarily good. Lincoln, N. B. Judd, Charles 
Denio, and many others, all excellent speakers, were at their 
best. 

I had several cases before the Supreme Court, then in 
session, and Governor Bissell wished me very much to stay in 
Springfield during the sitting of the Legislature. Except for 
one or two short visits home, I therefore remained until 
adjournment. Beautiful Mrs. Bissell was always in delicate 
health, and the many calls made constantly at the Governor's 
house fatigued her very much, while neuralgic attacks often 
prevented her from receiving at all. Her step-daughters, 
Josephine and Rhoda Bissell, were yet too young to take her 
place. So she begged me to send for either Mary or Augusta, 
or both, to come up and to assist her in the performance of 
her social duties. Mary came and stayed several weeks, and 
it was a busy time for her. Not only had she to receive a 
great many calls, but was invited to make many herself. 
Almost every evening there was company at the house, card- 
playing, dancing, and musical entertainment. I, too, very 
much against my usual habits, spent many evenings there and 
tried to please people. In February, there was a great ball 
and supper. It was quite a good school, our Mary being 
introduced into a social life as refined as could be found in 
the State at that time. 

DEATH OF CHARLES KOERNER 

In May, 1857, I received the sad news of the death of 
brother Charles. For several years, owing to his terrible 
suffering from inflammatory rheumatism, he had not been 
able to write much. Pauline, as long as she lived, gave me 
all information about him. Since her death I got only a few 
sad letters from him. He had acted as my father in my 



ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 1857 41 

youthful days, and when he, by age and sickness, was disabled 
from pursuing any business, I tried my best to show my love 
and gratitude to him. His wife had died a year before. He 
left a daughter, his only child, an orphan, Mathilde Henri- 
ette, about sixteen years of age. A friend of mine, a banker, 
whom I had ordered to supply her with means, if necessary, 
wrote me about her. ' ' She is a strong, healthy, very beautiful 
young lady, highly educated, and has made a most favorable 
impression upon me." But her guardians, appointed by the 
court, while they also spoke of her as very intelligent and 
accomplished, speaking both French and English, intimated 
that she was self-willed and very independent, refusing to 
enter into any connection with the families of her mother's 
side, who were all highly respectable and living in the easi- 
est circumstances. As she wrote me herself afterwards, she 
was offended at them, because they had treated Charles 
coldly. In the very first letter I wrote her, I strongly advised 
her to join us, telling her that I could take care of her much 
better and more easily here than at Frankfort. Her guard- 
ians gave her the same advice; but she declined. This 
appeared to me unaccountable. But as she married a year 
or so afterwards, her refusal was most probably owing to 
the fact that she had already engaged herself to a Mr. Vogel. 
This marriage turned out very unfortunate. Her husband, 
Jules Vogel, a descendant of an excellent Frankfort family, 
was a native of Paris, where his parents resided. He had 
made painting his profession, had traveled in Spain and 
Italy sketching, had left Paris and had come to Frankfort 
where he had relatives. It was said that he was a very tal- 
ented painter, but had lived a Bohemian artist 's life at Paris, 
and had become very unsteady. I never saw him or Henri- 
ette. After living some time at Frankfort, he moved to Ber- 
lin, then to Dresden, then to Munich, and again to Berlin, 
where he died some time in 1871 or 1872. I have seen nothing 
from his brush, except a portrait of Henriette in colored 
crayon, which is indeed a highly finished production and is 



42 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

now in my possession. Henriette died in 1883, leaving a son 
and a daughter. Before her marriage, but more particularly 
after she became a widow, I assisted her, and afterwards her 
children, to the very best of my ability, until they could take 
care of themselves. 

LOCAL AFFAIRS 

In the spring a great commercial revulsion took place, 
which for several years brought ruin upon the business of 
the country. It was principally owing to the foolish legis- 
lation which had taken place in many States multiplying 
banks that rested entirely upon the credit of State securities. 
Illinois suffered most severely, and the people now realized 
all the misfortunes which had been predicted when they 
passed the General Banking Law. Our local Belleville bank 
failed to redeem its notes in specie, and was placed under a 
receivership. Our merchants could get no accommodations. 
They, as all the world, had done a great deal of business on 
credit. One of our most intimate friends, Edward Tittmann, 
who had ostensibly done a very large business, fell a victim to 
the general crash. Assigning all his estate to his creditors, 
he had to start out anew in the world. He sought employ- 
ment in St. Louis, but his amiable and interesting family 
remained for some time with their relatives. Little Emma 
Tittmann, of almost angelic beauty and of the loveliest char- 
acter, became for a year or so one of our family, to the great 
joy of all of us. She and Paula were to all of us a constant 
source of gladness. I may here state that Sharon Tyndale, 
husband of Molly Hilgard, after having studied civil engineer- 
ing at Cambridge, Mass., and having been engaged in building 
railroads in Pennsylvania, had settled in Belleville, followed 
his profession there, and had been elected surveyor of St. 
Glair County. The final removal of Edward Tittmann 's fam- 
ily to St. Louis was very much regretted by us. The closest 
intimacy had bound our two families together, and the chil- 
dren of the one were almost looked upon as the children of 
the other. 



ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 1857 43 

THE RAILROAD JUBILEE 

Quite an interesting incident happened in June, the great 
Railroad Jubilee, as it was called, on the completion of a 
direct line from Baltimore to St. Louis. The Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi, terminating at Cincinnati, had formed a connection 
with the Baltimore and Ohio, which was just then finished. 
An excursion was planned. The directors of the Baltimore 
and Ohio road, the mayor and the members of the city coun- 
cil, members of the chamber of commerce, with prominent 
citizens from Baltimore and invited members of Congress, 
having left Baltimore, were joined at Cincinnati by similar 
representatives from Cincinnati, Louisville and Vincennes, all 
coming to St. Louis. The arrangement committee of this 
excursion had invited a great many citizens of Illinois to join 
the triumphal procession at Vincennes on the line of our 
State. I had received an invitation for myself and family. 
I took Mary and Augusta along, with Emma Tyndale, Sharon 
and Molly's daughter, of about the same age as Augusta. At 
O'Fallon we took the cars, which contained a reception com- 
mittee from St. Louis and some other invited guests, to Vin- 
cennes. A little after noon we reached Vincennes. The 
excursion train had not yet arrived at that place. In the 
meantime we were refreshed at the depot and adjoining hotels. 

In Vincennes great preparations had been made to salute 
the excursion party. But the train was belated. It came 
in sections and there could be no stopping. Our train was 
then attached to the second section and with extraordinary 
speed we got to East St. Louis about midnight. There were 
four of the largest and finest boats in waiting for us, in 
which, after a fine supper, we were accommodated for the 
night. But a great many of the gentlemen did not retire. 
It was a beautiful moonlight night, and they remained on 
deck and had a jolly time. We did not get much sleep. The 
levee of St. Louis opposite was crowded with people. Cannon 
were fired, rockets flew up, and bands of music played. Early 
in the morning the four boats steamed off for a trip down the 



44 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

river. The numerous boats all along the wharf were flagged, 
and fired cannon when we passed. We went a little below 
Carondelet, then turned up stream again, bands playing on 
all the boats. During the trip we had a sumptuous luncheon, 
and by the time we landed on the St. Louis shore many of the 
gentlemen in our company were in the finest of humor. The 
mayor and other dignitaries were waiting for us. A great 
number of coaches had been provided for the guests, and a 
procession was formed. Several American military compan- 
ies and a very fine company from Baltimore, which had come 
along, headed the procession. After the carriages came the 
entire fire department, numerous other associations, the Ger- 
man Turners and singing societies. In the rear came the 
German military companies, which were then quite strong in 
St. Louis, consisting of the Union Riflemen, the Missouri 
Mounted Carbineers, the Missouri Light Battery, and the 
Missouri Dragoons. The bands of music were very numerous. 
All the streets the procession passed through to the Fair 
Grounds were profusely decorated. The crowds upon the 
streets were immense. At the Fair Grounds the seats of the 
vast amphitheatre, already pretty well filled with St. Louis 
ladies, received the guests. Then the military companies went 
through a number of evolutions. So did the Turners. The 
firemen also gave exhibitions. Then the singing societies gave 
in German a beautiful song of welcome. 

Edward Bates, whose reputation as an orator was 
national, and who afterwards became Attorney-General under 
Lincoln's administration, was the orator of the day. He 
spoke exceedingly well, though he could be heard only by 
those near him, as the presence of perhaps twenty thousand 
people in and out of the amphitheatre made itself felt so as 
to drown the voice of a speaker of even more vocal force 
than Bates. His speech, furthermore, was too long, occupying 
nearly two hours, which somewhat fatigued the audience. 
Everybody was glad when dinner was announced for the 
invited guests. Of course, there was, in spite of every effort, 



45 

a good deal of disorder, and although the bill of fare was 
large and choice one could hardly in the great throng do jus- 
tice to the viands and to oneself. There was plenty of good 
Missouri wine, sparkling Catawba, but it was hard to get at 
it. Then came a number of toasts and speeches. Prof. 0. 
M. Mitchell of Cincinnati, the celebrated astronomer, and 
later general in the Union Army, made perhaps the best and 
most elegant speech. Governor Keynolds, of Belleville, made 
one of his slap-dash harangues. We did not sit out the ora- 
torical fireworks, but, being tired out, found our carriage and 
went back to the city. The great number of prominent per- 
sons from nearly every part of the United States, the large 
and enthusiastic assemblage on the Fair Grounds, which then 
appeared to great advantage, left a somewhat lasting impres- 
sion on the minds of our little party. 

THE SCHILLER CENTENARY 

The 10th of November, 1859, was a day in the United 
States ever to be remembered. It was the centennial anni- 
versary of Schiller's birth. I do not believe that even in Ger- 
many the commemoration of the day was celebrated with more 
warmth and enthusiasm than it was here. Not only the great 
centers of the German population, New York, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwau- 
kee, St. Louis, but all towns and villages containing a consid- 
erable number of Germans, from Maine to Georgia, and from 
Texas to Minnesota, vied with one another to do honor to the 
memory of their most beloved poet. 

Belleville, as might have been expected, made a great 
effort to make the festival a success. Committees on finance, 
arrangement, and invitation were appointed, and a program 
arranged which was satisfactorily executed. The morning 
was ushered in by the firing of cannon, from Eimer's Hill. In 
the afternoon a procession was formed headed by a chief- 
marshal and aids. A band of music was followed by the 
Belleville Rifles, and two fire companies, another band of 



46 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

music, and a life-sized bust of Schiller, covered with a laurel 
wreath, carried on a velveted platform by six pupils of the 
Turnverein. The Druids' Lodge, the Laborers' Mutual Assist- 
ance Society, another band, followed by the Belleville Saenger- 
bund, and the Belleville Turnverein and their pupils, and 
very many citizens, closed it. After marching through the 
principal streets the procession entered the city park, and 
the large newly built and splendidly decorated theatre hall 
was soon filled to its utmost capacity. More than one thou- 
sand found room, but many had to stand round outside the 
doors and windows. The banners of the different societies 
and the American and German flags were planted around the 
bust, which had been placed on an altar in the background of 
the theater. After an overture, Professor Charles Rau recited 
most effectively Ferdinand Freiligrath 's festival ode, which, 
upon the solicitation of the Philadelphia Schiller Committee, 
the poet had written expressly for the American celebration. 
It was a most noble production. The Saengerbund gave one 
of their choicest songs. 

My task now commenced. I had been selected by the 
committee to make the German oration. It was a work of 
love to me. I threw my whole soul into it. I had to make 
the greatest effort to remain master of my own emotions. I 
may give a few passages, the beginning and the end, trans- 
lated. 

"A hundred years ago, at this hour, on the tenth of 
November, a Suabian mother pressed to her bosom a new-born 
babe in the little village of Marbach. The little one received 
the names Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller. His parents ' 
means were limited; an indifferent little house was his birth- 
place. Father and mother, some relations and a few villagers 
were the only persons who took note of the birth and the first 
years of this child. 

"And this hour of the month of November, this birth in 
the poorly built little house on the Neckar, is now being cele- 
brated by millions of gratefully excited people. Wherever 
on this globe our language is sounded, there the Germans in 
unison with the highly cultured of other nations, have assem- 



ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 1857 47 

bled together to celebrate in the most worthy manner the 
memory of this hour. And this celebration, such as perhaps 
was never offered to the memory of a mortal, is one not com- 
manded, one not officially initiated. It springs from the fre- 
est will, is the joyful tribute of nations vying with each other 
to raise the fairest wreaths on the commemorative altar of 
our glorified dead. And this glorified dead was neither a 
powerful ruler on earth, nor a brilliant world-moving states- 
man, neither a discoverer of new worlds, nor a conqueror in 
the fields of practical science. He was a plain, striving, 
struggling poet, battling in sorrow for his existence, until the 
last moment, when ' a genius turned down his torch and a kiss 
took the last of life from his lips'. I have been honored with 
the task of finding words to explain these wonderfully con- 
trasting phenomena, to solve as well as I may this apparent 
enigma. ' ' 

After giving my views of Schiller's genius and compar- 
ing him with G-oethe, Lessing, Burger, and Burns, and showing 
by reference to his principal dramatic works that all bore the 
impress of love for humanity and of liberty of thought and 
action, I dwelt on his last masterpiece, "William Tell. I said 
among other things. 

"Somewhat familiar with the dramatic productions of 
ancient and modern times, I believe I may boldly contend that 
the literature of all nations cannot show a passage which can 
be compared in sublime beauty with that of the assemblage on 
the Ruetli. 

"The scene where the thirty-three men from the three 
forest cantons join their hands to break down princely power 
and at the rising sun take the solemn oath: 

'We will be free as our fathers were, 
'Will die before we live in servitude.' 

is the greatest, the noblest, the most striking passage which a 
poet has at any time brought to the vivid consciousness of his 
people." 

I laid great stress on the high, noble and virtuous charac- 
ter of Schiller as a man, as being another strong reason of his 
immense popularity among all classes of people. 

' ' The great artist, ' ' I said, ' ' found his equal in the great 
character of the man. Almost every great poem of his is an 



48 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

emanation of himself, a confession of faith of the man. And 
there is nothing more sublime than what he has given us in 
his ' Hymn to Joy. ' Living in every heart and on every 
tongue let me repeat it to you in its most emphatic sense as the 
true core and innermost essence of this noble nature: 

" 'Festen Muth in schweren Leiden, 
Huelfe, wo die Unschuld weint! 
Ewigkeit geschworenen Eiden, 
Wahrheit gegen Freund und Feind, 
Maennerstoltz vor Koenigthronen, 
Brueder, gilt es Gut und Blut ! 
Dem Verdienste seine Kronen, 
Untergang der Luegenbrut!' 

" 'Courage never by sorrow broken! 
Help where tears of virtue flow! 
Faith to keep each promise spoken, 
Truth alike to friend and foe! 
Neath kings' crowns a manly spirit, 
Be it at whatever price ! 
Honor due to every merit, 
Death to all the brood of lies ! ' : 

Browning's Translation. 

"A poet," I concluded, "who has made these ideas his 
own and has remained true to them through life, is worth the 
unfading love of his nation. A people that loves and vene- 
rates such a poet, as the Germans do Schiller, cannot and 
will not perish. True to such a man and to such a faith, it 
will stand firm on the heights of humanity, like a rock in 
the sea, and the on-rushing Celtic waves from the West and 
the Slavic ones from the East will break themselves power- 
less on its bar." 

The "Hymn to Joy" was then sung by the Gesangverein. 

Judge Niles, a man of fine literary tastes and an able ora- 
tor, addressed the assembly in an English speech which did 
great honor to his head and heart; among other brilliant 
sentences I select the following: 

"Of the long roll of Germany's illustrious sons, Schiller 
lies nearest to the popular heart. By his immortal works and 
still more by the example of his life, he has left the noblest 
model of mankind. He has taught us how to live and how to 



ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 1857 49 

die. Heroism and self-sacrifice and devotion to the good 
and true; fidelity to conscience and the honest convictions of 
the soul; instant obedience to the command of the highest 
laws, these are the lessons taught in the works and life of 
Schiller." 

Drawing a parallel between Burns and Schiller, he 
remarked : 

"It is especially in their character as men that the world 
thus unites in homage to Burns and Schiller. As poets they 
may have been excelled, but as men as well as poets, as patri- 
ots, philanthropists, as teachers of all virtue and nobleness, 
whose lessons will elevate and purify, who shall take prece- 
dence of this German and this Scotchman ? ' ' 

Speaking of Goethe's and Schiller's friendship, he said: 

"Each, throughout life, took a noble pride in the fame of 
the other. A friendship so unselfish and disinterested, so free 
from every taint of envy and jealousy, and so steady and 
enduring, is in itself evidence of a very high excellence in 
both. It was a co-partnership in all useful and honorable and 
noble things, in the pursuit of wisdom and self-culture for 
the instruction of the human race." 

After the conclusion of Judge Niles's speech, a young 
Frenchman, J. B. N. Lefevre, rose and asked leave to recite 
an ode in French, written by him for the occasion. It showed 
poetical talent and a due appreciation of Schiller's character. 
It alluded to his cosmopolitan spirit and expressed the wish 
of the author of a brotherly union of all nations. He eulo- 
gized Luther and Robert Blum, both of whom were born on 
the 10th of November. The poem was delivered with great 
warmth and was highly applauded by the whole audience ; for 
even those who did not understand the language, appreciated 
the effort made by a Frenchman to do honor to one of our 
great luminaries. The festival concluded with a well exe- 
cuted performance of the principal parts of the "Bell" by 
the united Saengervereins. 

Perhaps in all my life I did not see an audience so com- 
pletely carried away by deep feeling, so spellbound at times 
and so exuberant in enthusiasm, as the one which had 



50 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

united on that day in our modest Belleville to do honor to the 
memory of the nation's favorite poet. 

Regarding my Schiller speech, I cannot help but indulge 
in a little vanity. On the fifth of December, John B. Stallo, 
whose competency to judge in literary and many other mat- 
ters is undisputed, amongst other things wrote me the follow- 
ing lines: 

' ' Another favor ; if you can yet dispose of some copies of 
your Schiller speech send them to me, I would like to make 
a present of them to some of my friends. This speech is by 
far the most successful amongst all the contributions to Schil- 
ler's posthumous fame, which have come to my notice. A 
high strain of thought without hollow phrases, is something 
so rare with us German epigones, that one feels really re- 
freshed to read a performance which is something more than 
a mere stylistic exercise." 

The time when Frederick William IV of Prussia was in- 
capacitated from reigning any longer, and his brother William 
was made regent in Prussia ( 1857-1859 ) , is usually designated 
by German historians as the beginning of a new era. The 
reactionary ministry was dismissed; the press was granted 
some more liberties ; and there were indications that Prussia, 
and Germany with it, were about to enter on the road of con- 
stitutional progress. I think we may count the new era from 
the time of the Schiller festival. When the news was gath- 
ered from every nook and corner of Germany, from every 
part of Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and even Africa, 
where the German tongue was spoken, of how generally, how 
rapturously this anniversary had been celebrated, without 
any initiative on the part of the governments, astonishment 
was soon followed by a proud feeling of nationality and a 
consciousness of the spirit of unity of all German speaking 
peoples. In the universal canonization of the author of "Tell" 
and "Don Carlos," the strongest proof was afforded that the 
aspirations of the German people were for humanity and for 
liberty of thought and acts. 

The most strenuous efforts heretofore made in Germany 



ILLINOIS AND GERMANY IN 1857 51 

for liberty and through liberty for union had been frustrated 
and put down by brute force in the interest of dynastic ab- 
solutism. Yet these very absolutist rulers, owing to their 
want of unity amongst themselves, had become the vassals of 
Eussia and Austria, and were treated with contempt by na- 
tions whose power was consolidated. For nearly ten years 
after the suppression of the rising of the people in 1848 and 
1849, Germany was politically asleep. This Schiller festival 
gave a new impulse to the feeling of German nationality, 
which has grown stronger ever since, and which, with casual 
interruptions, has finally accomplished the long-cherished and 
ardent wish of becoming again a great and powerful nation. 
The final conquest, it is said by royalty and by all court-flat- 
terers, was owing to "Blood and Iron;" but material forces, 
to be enduringly successful, must be based on intellectual and 
spiritual forces. No man, however wise and energetic he may 
be, can raise a rich harvest from a barren field. The thou- 
sands of young men who suffered in prison or who had to 
leave their fatherland to struggle in exile, the bold advocates 
who contended in the press or in legislative bodies for the in- 
alienable rights of men at the risk of their civil existence, the 
thousands who fell on the fields and on barricades, fertilized 
by their sweat and blood the soil on which alone could spring 
up the flower of a united Germany. 



LIBRART 



CHAPTER XXX 

The Lincoln-Douglas Campaign of 1858 

In Kansas, things had gone from bad to worse. The 
Legislature elected by Missourians in 1858 had never been 
recognized by the Free State men, whose number was daily 
increasing. Nevertheless, the Legislature passed a law to 
elect delegates to a State convention to frame a State con- 
stitution. The Free State men did not go to the polls, deny- 
ing the fraudulent Legislature the right to call a convention. 
So the Pro-Slavery men had it all their own way. 

THE LECOMPTON CONSTITUTION 

This Pro-Slavery convention, at Lecompton in July, 
1857, by a small vote, framed an out-and-out Pro-Slavery 
constitution, but failed to provide for submitting it to the 
people for its final approbation, all that was necessary to 
make Kansas a full State, and to be admitted as such by Con- 
gress. 

There was never any obligation on the constitutional 
convention to submit its work to the people again for sanc- 
tion. But this had almost universally been done, it being 
considered wholly un-democratic to prevent the people from 
passing judgment on the draft of the constitution. And in 
this case, where, owing to constant emigration, it had been 
shown by the elections held by the Free State men for the 
Legislature, (which Legislature had, however, been dispersed 
by United States troops as irregular by the order of the 
President,) that the Free State people were in an overwhelm- 
ing majority, this failure to submit the Lecompton Constitu- 
tion to the final vote of the people, was an abominable out- 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 53 

rage. Nevertheless, Buchanan, who had used every means in 
his power to sustain the Pro-Slavery party in Kansas, and 
who was ever truckling to the slave power, had the effrontery 
in his message to Congress at the opening of its session in 
December, 1857, to recommend the admission of Kansas in 
the strongest terms. 

THE DEFECTION OF DOUGLAS 

And now came a surprise. Senator Douglas heretofore, 
under his doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, had justified all 
the doings of the Pro-Slavery people in Kansas, and had, in 
a most elaborate speech at Springfield, June, 1857, defended 
the famous Dred Scott decision of a majority of the Supreme 
Court of the United States. The negro, Dred Scott, had sued 
his master, Sanford, for his freedom, because Sanford had 
taken him into the free Territory of Minnesota, where he had 
resided for many years ; and in this decision it was held that 
Scott, though born in the United States, was not a citizen of 
the United States, and could not, therefore, sue in a federal 
court. The court further held, in opposition to nearly every 
State court, most Southern courts included, that Con- 
gress had no power to legislate over Territories regarding 
slavery, and this decision was at once criticized by the best 
lawyers as erroneous, and had excited the indignation and 
contempt of Free Soilers all over the country. Senator Doug- 
las now, in contradiction of the course hitherto pursued by 
him, turned against Buchanan and denounced him for rec- 
ommending the admission of Kansas as a State under a con- 
stitution not formally sanctioned by the people. That it was 
a slavery constitution he did not complain about, but merely 
that it had not been submitted to the people for a vote. 

Considering the circumstances under which this consti- 
tution had been concocted, the Eepublicans were opposed to 
it as a fraud, independently of the question of non-submission, 
which latter question was really non-determinative. But 
Douglas very shrewdly made this the main and only point of 



54 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

his opposition. He carried with him, however, none of the 
Democrats in the Senate, although the Democratic members 
from Illinois and a few from the Northern States followed 
their idolized leader, mostly with a heavy heart, for they 
knew they most likely w r ould be read out of the regular De- 
mocracy by their act. The Republicans, not caring upon what 
ground the Douglas men opposed the administration, hailed 
his coming over to them upon this important question with 
great joy; and the Republican party, outside of Illinois, 
seemed almost willing to let by-gones be by-gones and to ac- 
cept Douglas as a leader into the Republican ranks. The 
"New York Tribune," the most influential Republican paper 
in the country under the control of that very able but also 
very erratic editor, Horace Greeley, moved heaven and earth 
to induce the Republicans of Illinois to elect Douglas men to 
the next Legislature, in order to secure Douglas's reelection 
to the Senate and to fight under his banner to defeat the Pro- 
Slavery Democracy. This sudden turn taken by Douglas 
excited great comment all over the Union ; and surely it was 
a very cunning move on his part, for it was apt to demoralize 
the Pro-Slavery Democracy as well as the Republican party. 

ARTICLE ON THE DOUGLAS SITUATION 

It was at this time, that Charles L. Bernays, then editor 
of the "Anzeiger des Westens" in St. Louis, whose acquaint- 
ance I had made at Highland, where he first had made his 
home, earnestly requested me to give him my views of the sit- 
uation, which he declared he was not fully able to under- 
stand. I did so. In a rather extended article I reviewed 
Douglas 's course. He had had, I said, ever since his first elec- 
tion in 1849 to the United States Senate, the Presidency in 
his eye. It was with a view of obtaining the nomination for 
the Presidency, after he had been reflected in 1853 to the 
Senate, that he, forgetful of his past, had, in order to obtain 
the support of the South, opened the slavery agitation by 
repealing the Missouri Compromise. The flattering vote he 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 55 

received for the nomination in 1856 at the Democratic 
National Convention, made him still more anxious to please 
the South; hence his support of all the outrages committed 
by the Pro-Slavery party in Kansas with the help of the 
administration and his defense of the Dred Scott decision, 
which had smashed into splinters his Popular Sovereignty 
humbug. But his senatorial term was now drawing to a 
close. The Legislature to be elected in 1858 in Illinois had 
to elect a Senator. The election of 1856 had shown clearly 
a popular majority for the Republicans. He must try to 
set himself right. Buchanan had recommended in his mes- 
sage that Kansas be admitted with the slavery constitution, 
although the same had not been submitted to the people's 
final vote. Now Douglas turns a sharp corner. The consti- 
tution ought to have been submitted to the people, this is 
a violation of my Popular Sovereignty doctrine. I will 
denounce it and place myself with the Republicans to defeat 
this nefarious scheme. That will do for Illinois. The Repub- 
licans will be for me there as against the Buchanan Democ- 
racy. I will be reelected to the Senate, and there will be time 
to placate the South before the election of 1860 comes off. 
Unless I am reelected to the Senate, my chances for the Presi- 
dency will be forever gone. "These considerations," I 
remarked, "have caused Douglas's present action. It is a 
very ingenious scheme ; but we Illinoisans know Judge Doug- 
las too well to be taken in by it. If he will help us to defeat 
the regular Democracy, very well; we will not repel him; 
but to make him the champion of our principles because he 
happens in some points to agree with us, while on all others 
concerning the slavery question he is against us and still 
denounces us as Black Republicans, would be the height of 
self-degradation and imbecility. It would grant him absolu- 
tion of the terrible sin he has committed against the peace, 
dignity and morality of the people. Put him into the Sen- 
ate again, and in less than a year he will have made his peace 
with the Pro-Slavery party, and we shall have been duped. 



56 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Do not listen to the persuasive advice of outside Republicans 
who do not know Judge Douglas, but stand to your colors of 
1856 and spurn any unholy and compromising alliance." 

SUCCESS OF THE ARTICLE 

This article, as will be seen, was drawn out from me, and 
was intended to have specific local application in Missouri, 
where the Republicans, in a hopeless minority in their own 
State, were inclined to raise Douglas on their shield to beat 
the Buchanan party. But the Chicago " Illinois Staatszei- 
tung" got hold of the article, and republished it with an intro- 
duction wherein I was named as the author, though this had 
been mere guess-work. The "Free Press," and the "Tri- 
bune," the leading American Republican paper in Chicago 
and the Northwest, had it translated into English, introduced 
it in very flattering terms, and treated it as a sort of mani- 
festo to the Republican party in Illinois. As the article was 
written immediately after the first speech of Douglas in 
December, 1857, and as it was the first elaborate criticism 
of his utterances, it created much attention, although in writ- 
ing it I had not thought of anything like a declaration of war 
against Judge Douglas, nor had I intended to bring myself 
prominently before the public, having signed no name to the 
communication to the "Anzeiger des Westens." I was dis- 
pleased that my name had been used without my authority, 
not because I was afraid to have been known as the author, 
but because I had not wished to put myself forward as an 
important personage, dealing in addresses and manifestos. Of 
course, from the "Free Press" the article went through many 
Republican journals, and was also noticed by the Democratic 
papers. It is certain, however, that my unanimous nomina- 
tion to the presidency of the Republican State Convention in 
1858, which was the largest convention up to that time ever 
held in the State, and which was composed of such delegates 
as Abraham Lincoln, N. B. Judd, Richard Yates, O. H. 
Browning, Leonard Swett, J. M. Palmer, Isaac N. Arnold and 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 57 

many other distinguished leaders of the Republican party, was 
owing to this exposition of Douglas's course and my earnest 
pleading for our fighting our battle with our own men. I 
must admit that the article in question was quite severe and 
incisive, which might appear strange considering the very 
friendly relations which had existed between Judge Douglas 
and myself prior to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and 
the high opinion I had entertained, and in fact continued to 
entertain, of some very excellent traits in his character. He 
was capable of very generous impulses, was truly kind-hearted 
at bottom, of indomitable pluck, and a man of superior tal- 
ents. That in the campaign of 1856, he had frequently spoken 
of me with bitterness had not influenced me. But I was now 
terribly in earnest. I considered him as having let loose, in 
order to elevate himself, the demon of discord, which might 
possibly lead to the dissolution of the Union. 

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTIONS OF 1858 

State Conventions were held in Illinois by the Buchanan 
party on the 21st of April, 1858, and by the Douglas party 
on the same day. The first was a miserable fizzle. It 
denounced the Douglas men as infamous traitors and the 
Republicans as Black Abolitionists, and nominated at an 
adjourned meeting the versatile John Dougherty for State 
Treasurer, and old Governor Reynolds for Superintendent of 
Schools. These were the only State officers to be elected this 
year. It was, however, the election for the Legislature which 
was of real importance, for that Legislature was to elect/ a 
Senator in 1859. 

The Douglas Convention was very largely attended and 
very enthusiastic in its speeches, but lamentably weak in its 
resolutions. While endorsing the course of Douglas, it did 
not nominate Douglas for the Senate, nor did it express the 
slightest direct disapprobation of the course of the National 
(Buchanan) Democracy. It was evident that it wished to 
avoid an open rupture with the Buchanan Democracy. This 



58 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

of course was done on the advice of Douglas himself. A 
motion that the Convention regretted the course of the present 
administration in removing the friends of Douglas from the 
offices in the State, was promptly tabled. The Convention 
nominated W. B. Fondy for State Treasurer and Ex-Gov- 
ernor French for Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

PRESIDENT OF THE ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN CONVENTION 
IN 1858 

On June 15th, the Republican Convention met in Spring- 
field. Twelve hundred delegates attended. Richard Yates 
was made temporary, and I permanent, chairman. It adopted 
in the main the Republican State platform of 1856. It dis- 
approved of the Dred Scott decision, maintained the right of 
Congress to prohibit slavery in the Territories and its duty 
to exercise it, approved the recent decision of the Supreme 
Court of Illinois, which declared that property in persons was 
repugnant to the constitution of Illinois, and that slavery 
was the creature of local and municipal law. A resolution 
that Abraham Lincoln was the first and only choice of the 
Republicans of Illinois was adopted with the most deafening 
applause. James Miller, the old Republican incumbent, was 
nominated for State Treasurer and Newton Bateman for 
Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

THE HOUSE-DIVIDED-AGAINST-ITSELF SPEECH 

The Convention met again in the evening. Mr. Lincoln, 
having been requested to address the Convention, took his 
stand on the right hand of the President, and delivered the 
ever memorable speech containing the passage: "A house 
divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government 
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do 
not expect the Union to be dissolved. I do not expect the 
house to fall, but I do expect it to cease to be divided. It 
will become all one thing or all the other. Either the oppon- 
ents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 59 

it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in 
the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push 
it forward until it shall become alike lawful in all the States, 
old as well as new, North as well as South. Have we no 
tendency to the latter condition?" 

Other speakers followed him and the Convention 
adjourned amid the wildest enthusiasm. The contest was now 
on. In the well-written history of Davidson and Stuve it is 
justly characterized as follows: 

"The contest between these two gentlemen for a seat in 
the United States Senate was not only the most memorable 
in the annals of Illinois, but, involving great national issues 
at the time, assumed a scope beyond the mere personal suc- 
cess of a contestant, and an importance which aroused public 
attention from all parts of the Union. Douglas was the lead- 
ing representative man of the Democracy, and Lincoln, being 
pitted against him, became the same for the Republican party. 
It was called the battle of the giants, and results grew out of 
it, both as relates to the men concerned and principles 
involved, the most momentous to the nation since its founda- 
tion was laid in the blood of the revolution." 

THE DOUGLAS-LINCOLN SPEECHES AT CHICAGO 

The first speech Judge Douglas made was at Chicago. 
His friends had made the most ample preparations for an ova- 
tion. Notice had been given for weeks, half-price excursion 
trains carried large numbers from the country into town. 
Bands of music and torch-light processions, brought large 
masses to the front of the Tremont House, from the balcony 
of which he addressed the crowd. Bengal fires illuminated 
the scene, and when he appeared he was greeted with tumul- 
tuous cheers. He was fighting for his political life. His mas- 
sive form supported his ample head, covered with a thick 
growth of black hair. His deep-set, dark blue eyes shed 
their lustre under his heavy brows. The features of his firm, 
round face were wonderfully expressive of the working of his 
feelings. Calm in stating facts, passionate when he attacked, 
disdainful when he was forced to defend, his gestures were 



60 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

sometimes violent, and often exceptionally so. His voice was 
strong, but not modulated. Bold in his assertions, maledic- 
tory in his attacks, impressive in language, not caring to per- 
suade, but intent to force the assent of his hearers, he was 
the Danton, not the Mirabeau, of oratory. 

He was certainly at the time the most practical and for- 
midable debater amongst our public men. His Chicago 
speech was considered one of his best. Yet here, as else- 
where, one could easily see that he was terribly handicapped 
by his overwhelming desire to reach the Presidency. "While 
the regular Democracy, the National Democrats as they called 
themselves, were denouncing him in their presses and on the 
stump in the bitterest terms, branding him as a Benedict 
Arnold, a Judas Iscariot, he did not dare to tread heavily on 
Buchanan's toes. He was most mild-mannered when refer- 
ring to his disagreement with the administration. It was 
evident that he wished to leave the door open for reconcilia- 
tion before the next Presidential election should come off. 
But all the malice he harbored in his breast against the 
administration yet did not venture to let out, he infused into 
his maledictions against the Republicans. He poured the 
vials of his wrath on our devoted heads denouncing us as 
Black Republicans, Abolitionists, Disunionists, and Amalga- 
mationists of the two races. 

Lincoln, who happened to be in the city, sat quietly on 
the same balcony. After Douglas got through, he was loudly 
called for. He rose, and stated that this ovation was gotten 
up for his friend Judge Douglas, but that if the good people 
of Chicago would listen to him, he would speak to them 
to-morrow evening at the same time and place. Without time 
for parade or showy demonstration the throng that listened 
to Lincoln next evening, as might have been expected from 
the political complexion of the city, was larger and really 
more enthusiastic than the one of the night before. 

No greater contrast could be imagined than the one 
between Lincoln and Douglas. The latter was really a very 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 61 

little giant physically, measuring five feet and nothing, while 
Lincoln, when standing erect, towered to six feet three inches. 
Lincoln, awkward in his posture and leaning a little forward, 
stood calm and collected, addressing his hearers in a some- 
what familiar, yet very earnest, way, with a clear, distinct, 
and far-reaching voice, generally well modulated, but some- 
times rather shrill. When unmoved, his features seemed over- 
shadowed by an expression of sadness, though at times he 
could assume a most humorous, and even comical, look; but, 
when aroused, he appeared like a prophet of old. Neither he 
nor Douglas indulged in rhetoric ; both were mainly argumen- 
tative. But while Douglas, powerful as was his speech, never 
showed anything like genius, there came from Lincoln occa- 
sionally flashes of genius and burning words, revelations as 
it were from the unknown, that will live as long as the 
English language lives. Lincoln was deeply read in the Bible 
and Shakespeare. He did not quote from them, but his style 
showed plainly his close intimacy with the Scriptures and 
the great bard. Douglas was eminently talented; Lincoln 
was original. But what made Lincoln vastly more effective in 
this contest was that even the most obtuse hearer could see 
at once that Douglas spoke for himself, and Lincoln for his 
cause. 

AT SPRINGFIELD AND BLOOMINGTON 

The day after Lincoln's speech, July 15th, both went 
down on the train to Springfield, Lincoln as a quiet pas- 
senger, Douglas as a sort of triumphator. He had a special 
car, had a secretary and a reporter, and a number of devoted 
friends with him. A band of music accompanied him, and 
on an attached platform car a gun was planted, which was 
fired off to announce his arrival at every station. His car 
was decorated with flags and emblems. Preparations had 
been made at every station to receive him with music and the 
booming of cannon. The station platforms were crowded 
with men, women and children. 



62 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

At Bloomington, where an appointment had been made 
for Douglas to speak, processions, salutes of cannon, fireworks, 
an immense crowd, everything, in fact, had been made 
ready to glorify the idol of the Illinois Democracy. Lincoln 
listened quietly. At Springfield Douglas met with a similar 
reception, and he spoke in the afternoon at Edward's Grove 
for three hours. His friends pronounced it the best speech 
of his campaign. But now came Lincoln's turn. He spoke 
in Springfield at night. His speech was not only a master- 
piece of argument, but so full of splendid humor that it kept 
the audience in roars of laughter. Amongst other most tak- 
ing remarks the following elicited the greatest applause : 

"I am at a disadvantage. Senator Douglas is of world- 
wide renown. All the anxious politicians of his party have 
been looking to him as certainly at no very distant day to be 
President of the United States. They have seen in his round, 
jolly, fruitful face, post-offices, land-offices, marshalships, and 
cabinet appointments, charge-ships and foreign missions, 
bursting and sprouting out in wonderful exuberance, ready to 
be laid hold of by their greedy hands. And as they have 
been gazing at this attractive picture so long they cannot in 
the little distraction that has taken place in the party bring 
themselves to quite give up the charming hope, but with 
greediness anxiously they rush about him, sustain him, give 
him marches, triumphant entries and receptions, beyond what 
even in the days of his highest prosperity they could have 
brought about in his favor. On the contrary, nobody has 
ever expected me to be President. In my poor, lean, lank 
face, nobody has ever seen that any cabbages were sprouting 
out." 

CANVASS OF THE STATE 

Lincoln now had measured swords, and in spite of his 
innate modesty was sagacious enough to see that he was 
Douglas's match in every respect. He proposed to canvass 
the State jointly, dividing the time between them. Douglas 
alleging that his friends had already made appointments for 
him, which he could not recall and which occupied nearly all 
his time, consented, however, to seven joint debates at Ottawa, 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 63 

Freeport, Quincy, Galesburg, Jonesborough, Charleston and 
Alton. Those joint meetings drew immense crowds. Doug- 
las, impetuous, denunciatory, frequently lost his temper, made 
unguarded statements of facts which he had to take back, but 
magnetized the big crowd by his audacity and supreme self- 
confidence. Lincoln impressed his audiences by his almost 
too extreme fairness, his always pure and elevated language, 
and his appeals to their higher nature. Douglas, on the con- 
trary, roused the existing strong prejudices against the negro 
race to the highest pitch, and not unfrequently resorted to 
demagogism unworthy of his own great reputation as a states- 
man. 

COUNTER-QUESTIONS AND THE FREEPORT DOCTRINE 

So well were the Republicans pleased with the results 
of these memorable debates that they had them published in 
book form and used them with great effect in the Presidential 
canvass of 1860. Douglas at Ottawa had propounded to Lin- 
coln a series of questions which Lincoln promised to answer at 
the next debate at Freeport. 

The questions Douglas put, showed very little sagacity; 
for Lincoln could answer them all in a few words truthfully 
and satisfactorily, without in the least departing from the 
Republican platform. But Lincoln on his part put to Doug- 
las questions at Freeport which Douglas inconsiderately 
undertook to answer on the spot and which sealed his doom 
for the Presidency forever. 

The second question of Lincoln was: "Can the people 
of a United States Territory, in any lawful way, against the 
wish of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from 
its limits, prior to the formation of a State constitution?" 
Now the Supreme Court of the United States had decided that 
negroes were property and that under the Constitution of the 
United States a citizen might take his property into any Ter- 
ritory, and that neither Congress nor any Territorial Legisla- 
ture had a right to exclude slavery. It was manifest that this 
new-fangled doctrine was utterly destructive of Douglas's 



64 

Squatter Sovereignty principle. Yet Douglas had approved 
of the decision and had taxed all his ingenuity to show that 
he was guilty of no inconsistency. This direct question put 
him in a dilemma. He was addressing an immense Northern 
audience, made up mostly of Republicans, a good many of 
whom were undecided whether they should not after all make 
Douglas the champion of Free Kansas, and in part of Demo- 
crats, whose inclinations were much against slavery in general, 
and who had to be kept in the ranks of Douglas by not having 
their views on slavery extension too much violated. He 
framed his answer to this question, as he thought, very 
adroitly. It was in comparison to Lincoln's answers, which 
covered only a few lines, rather long and somewhat obscure. 

"It matters not," his answer was, "what way the 
Supreme Court may afterwards decide as to the abstract 
question whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory 
under the Constitution ; the people have the lawful means to 
introduce it, or exclude it as they please, for the reason that 
slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere unless it is 
supported by local police regulations. These police regula- 
tions can only be established by the local Legislature, and if 
the people are opposed to slavery, they will elect representa- 
tives to that body who will, by unfriendly legislation, effectu- 
ally prevent the introduction of it in their midst. If on the 
contrary they are for it, their legislation will favor its exten- 
sion. Hence no matter what the decision of the Supreme 
Court may be on that abstract question, still the rights of 
the people to make a Slave Territory or a Free Territory is 
perfect and complete under the Nebraska Bill." 

Douglas assumed in his answer that the Supreme Court 
had not yet decided the abstract question, while it had done 
so most decidedly. This assumption was so unfounded that 
it was easily exposed. But it was his assertion that the peo- 
ple in the Territory could annihilate the right of every citizen 
to hold slaves in that Territory, by indirection, by unfriendly 
legislation, which made him an impossible Democratic candi- 
date in 1860. Lincoln, before Douglas's answer came in, said 
to a friend: "If he sticks to the Dred Scott decision, he may 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 65 

lose the Senatorship ; if he tries to get around it, he certainly 
loses the Presidency." Lincoln, who was a master in discov- 
ering his adversary's weak points and in tersely presenting 
them in a clear light, defined in his subsequent speeches Doug- 
las's position in this wise: "A thing may be lawfully driven 
away from a place, where it has a lawful right to go. ' ' From 
this time on the Southern Democracy denounced Douglas as 
"paltering in a double sense," and as having shown the 
"cloven foot." His answers helped him in the Senatorial 
contest, but destroyed all hopes of his ever receiving the Dem- 
ocratic nomination for President. 

COMPARISONS 

Douglas continued his canvass over the State in the same 
royal style in which he had commenced it in his appointments 
at Springfield and Bloomington. Large sums were sent into 
Illinois by his outside friends, and he himself raised, it was 
said, fifty thousand dollars, by mortgaging his real estate. 
Lincoln, now and then with a few friends, traveled as an 
ordinary passenger, though of course he met with enthusiastic 
demonstrations wherever he spoke. At the end of the can- 
vass, when a friend asked him how much the campaign had 
cost him, he answered: "He was afraid that he had not 
spent less than five hundred dollars." Both candidates 
spoke almost every day from the 10th of July to the day of 
election. The highly excited elections in 1840 and 1856 bore 
no comparison with the political tempest which raged this 
year all over the Prairie State. 

In the joint discussions, Douglas restrained himself some- 
what from making aggressive and personally offensive 
remarks. But on other occasions he was most bitter and 
denunciatory. Trumbull, who had been, as I predicted, when 
he was first elected, a thorn in Douglas's side, came in for a 
large share of undignified abuse ; and where there were large 
German crowds, I, too, did not escape his maledictions. 

One great attraction in his canvass was his beautiful wife. 



66 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

He had married some years before the " Belle of Washing- 
ton." She accompanied him, held receptions, largely attended 
of course by the ladies of the places where he spoke, and not 
less by crowds of admiring gentlemen. This was rather a 
new and interesting feature in the show. It was said and 
believed that Mr. Charles L. Bernays, then the editor of the 
St. Louis "Anzeiger" and a strong Republican, upon having 
had the honor of being introduced to Mrs. Douglas at Belle- 
ville, was at once taken captive by the bewitching charms of 
the lady Senator and was turned into an effusive admirer of 
Mr. Douglas. The "Anzeiger" thenceforth advocated Doug- 
las's election. 

THE BELLEVILLE MEETING 

Of course Judge Douglas did not leave Belleville unvis- 
ited. He made the same pompous entry, accompanied by his 
wife, and addressed the people at Eimer's Hill. The town 
was crowded with people ; but there was a remarkable lack of 
enthusiasm. The procession would have been a flat failure, 
had it not been for some five hundred Douglas men, who, 
with badges and banners, came over from St. Louis. And 
while curiosity brought very many people to the speaker's 
stand, it was at once apparent that all the shouting and cheer- 
ing was done by the St. Louis folks. This had a depressing 
influence even on Judge Douglas, and there was considerable 
disappointment amongst his friends. A Republican mass 
meeting, addressed by Senator Trumbull and local speakers, 
was, if not as large as the Douglas meeting, far more spirited 
and exultant. 

JOINT DEBATE AT ALTON 

I attended only the last joint meeting, shortly before the 
election, at Alton. I arrived there in the morning, and found 
Lincoln in the hotel sitting-room. He at once said : ' ' Let us 
go up and see Mary." I had not seen Mrs. Lincoln, that I 
recollected, since meeting her at the Lexington parties, when 
she was Miss Todd. "Now, tell Mary what you think of 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 67 

our chances! She is rather dispirited." I was certain, I 
said, of our carrying the State and tolerably certain of our 
carrying the Legislature. St. Glair was perfectly safe. The 
outlook in Madison was good. We had just then been reading 
the St. Louis morning papers, where it was announced that 
more than a thousand Douglas men had chartered a boat to 
attend the Alton meeting, and that they represented the Free 
Soil party in Missouri and were enthusiastic for Douglas's 
election. We discussed fully the singular position that party 
had taken under the lead of Frank Blair, who had been the 
great champion of the cause of our party in Missouri, ever 
since the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. I found Lin- 
coln a little despondent. He had come quietly down from 
Springfield with his wife that morning, unobserved, and it 
was not until an hour or so that his friends were made aware 
of his arrival. He was soon surrounded by a crowd of Repub- 
licans ; but there was no parade or fuss, while Douglas, about 
noon, made his pompous entry, and soon afterwards the boat 
from St. Louis landed at the wharf, heralded by the firing of 
guns and the strains of martial music. 

The speaking commenced at two o'clock. The stand was 
on the public square. It was occupied by the speakers and by 
the Lincoln and Douglas Reception Committees of Alton. 
Mr. Lincoln took me with him on the platform. Here I met, 
for the first time since 1856, Judge Douglas, who in his genial 
manner shook hands with me, apparently quite cordially. 
But I was really shocked at the condition he was in. His 
face was bronzed, which was natural enough, but it was also 
bloated, and his looks were haggard, and his voice almost ex- 
tinct. In conversation he merely whispered. In addressing 
his audience he made himself understood only by an immense 
strain, and then only to a very small circle immediately near 
him. He had the opening and conclusion. His speech, how- 
ever, was as good as any he had delivered. Lincoln, although 
sun-burnt, was as fresh as if he had just entered the cam- 
paign, and as cool and collected as ever. Without any appar- 



68 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ent effort he stated his propositions clearly and tersely, and 
his whole speech was weighted with noble and deep thoughts. 
There were no appeals to passion and prejudice. 

The Alton speech contained, by general admission, some 
of the finest passages of all the speeches he ever made. When 
Douglas's opening speech had been made, he was vociferously 
cheered. When, after Lincoln's speech, which made a power- 
ful impression, Douglas made his reply, there was hardly any 
applause when he closed. 

RESULTS OF THE CAMPAIGN 

I need not say that I was in the midst of this fight. 
I believe I spoke in every large city in the State, usually twice 
a day, and, towards the last, in every election precinct of St. 
Glair County. As to the Senatorial election, which depended 
on getting a majority in the Legislature, I was not so sanguine 
as most men of our party. The last Democratic Legislature 
had prevented a new districting of the State. The old ap- 
portionment had become unjust in the highest degree. A 
careful computation showed the remarkable result, that by 
the gerrymandering of the State seven hundred Democratic 
votes were equal to one thousand Republican votes. The split 
in the Democratic party amounted to but little. It rather 
helped Douglas, for his friends made him pose now as the 
martyr of his noble battle against the administration, which 
sought to admit Kansas as a Slave State under the fraudulent 
Lecompton Constitution ; and inasmuch as a large part of the 
Republicans in other States were incessant in their efforts to 
make us in Illinois take up! Douglas as the leader in this 
righteous cause, it made us lose a good many Republicans and 
made others lukewarm in their opposition to Douglas. We 
had, as it were, to fight our cause in our own State single- 
handed, without support from the outside. 

Although John Scheel was prevented from returning to 
Belleville previous to the election, we still kept him in the 
field as a candidate for the Legislature. We elected, not only 



LINCOLN-DOUGLAS CAMPAIGN 69 

him, but also Colonel Jarrot to the Legislature, and gave a 
large majority for the two Republican candidates for State 
offices and for a Republican Congressman; we also elected 
the entire county ticket. As in 1856, St. Glair in the south 
had proved itself the banner Republican county. But we lost 
the Legislature by about eight votes, which involved the defeat 
of Lincoln for the Senate. The popular Republican majority 
over Douglas was five thousand. The Buchanan candidates 
got no votes worth mentioning. That under all opposing cir- 
cumstances Douglas succeeded, was proof of his immense 
power of personal attraction, which fascinated and infatu- 
ated such a large part of the people, and blinded them to his 
almost criminal efforts to reach the dazzling prize of the 
Presidency. 

PERSONAL. AND LOCAL 

John Scheel and his family, with our Mary, had spent 
quite a pleasant and interesting time in Europe. After vis- 
iting London and Paris, they stayed mostly with their many 
relations, the Hilgards and the Engelmanns, in Rhenish 
Bavaria and Prussia. 

I must not fail to mention that while the year before we 
had a great Saenger Festival at Belleville, in which Singers' 
Unions from St. Louis, Peoria, Highland, and other places 
participated, and which was extraordinarily successful, this 
year we had an equally fine festival of the Northwestern Tur- 
nerbund, lasting several days. Some eight hundred Turners 
marched in procession with their rifle and musical sections. 
Frederick Hecker made the festival speech, eliciting the great- 
est applause, particularly by the passages in which he with his 
usual caustic wit fired broadsides into Douglas 's Squatter Sov- 
ereignty. The second evening of the festival was devoted to 
what was called intellectual gymnastics (Geistiges Turnen). 
Members read essays and recited poetry. Our Gustave 
belonged to the Turner pupils. His essay in that class, on 
Goethe's works, took the first prize, and he also received the 
first prize hi recitation (Geibel's poems). 



70 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

The burning of the Hamburg steamer Austria, in Sep- 
tember, on the open sea, with a loss of nearly six hundred 
lives, spread a deep gloom over the country, and made us, 
for a while at least, forget the political life and death-struggle 
in which almost our entire population was engaged. 

DEATH OF WILLIAM C. KINNEY 

In the fall of this year (1858) William C. Kinney died 
at Belleville. He was a man of excellent mind. He was 
ambitious, but lacked the perseverance and self-confidence to 
be politically successful. He mistrusted his own powers and 
was inclined to look generally on the dark side of things. 
The loss of his wife, a daughter of Senator Kane, an intel- 
lectual and energetic lady, upon whom he used to lean in his 
frequent fits of despondency, a little more than a year before 
his own death, affected him deeply. He had also suffered 
from severe attacks of sickness some time before his last dis- 
ease came on him. He left three daughters, who after their 
father's death remained with Mrs. Bissell, their aunt at 
Springfield, until some time in 1862, when they returned to 
Belleville with Mrs. Bissell, who died there some time after- 
wards. Louise married Gen. George W. Smith of Chicago; 
Felicite, our son Gustave; Lily remained single. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

The Nomination of Lincoln for the Presidency 

The year 1859 was comparatively a quiet one. The Schil- 
ler Festival I have already touched upon by anticipation. 
The Legislature met early in January. I had business at the 
Supreme Court, and, at the instance of Governor Bissell, I 
took Mary along to stay at the Governor's house to assist 
Mrs. Bissell. As usual, I kept up a correspondence with the 
' ' Belleviller Zeitung," reporting the doings of the Legisla- 
ture. At first their proceedings went along quite smoothly. 
Though the Governor in his message called attention to the 
Kansas troubles, and again condemned the outrages commit- 
ted there by the Pro-Slavery party, the Democrats seemed to 
take no offense, and, indeed, though in a majority, they were 
by no means equal in talent and in parliamentary tactics to 
the Republicans. 

WILLIAM R. MORRISON 

William E. Morrison had been elected speaker. He was 
a native of Illinois, the son of John Morrison of Monroe 
County, who was an illegitimate son of William Morrison of 
Kaskaskia. John had, however, been recognized by his father, 
and was treated by all the family as one of them. John had 
a farm at the south end of Prairie du Long near Horse Creek, 
but, the farm being on rather indifferent land, he had opened 
a country-store a mile or so north of it, and accumulated some 
property. He was a very shrewd man, fond of politics and 
of office, and had been elected to various county offices. He 
finally removed to Waterloo and became a very active poli- 
tician. 



72 

Bill Morrison, as our subject was usually called, even 
when holding high offices, had worked on the farm, had 
attended the common schools, and, after his father moved to 
Waterloo, was for a term or two sent to McKendree College. 
In 1846 on the outbreak of the Mexican war he entered Bis- 
sell's regiment as a volunteer when about twenty years of 
age, first as a private, being afterward promoted to orderly- 
sergeant. Soon after his return the gold-fever seized him. 
He traveled across the plains to California, worked placer- 
mines, gathered some gold dust, and returned to Panama. 
Soon after, he was elected clerk of the circuit court, when 
I first saw him. In 1852 he was a member of the Convention 
which nominated me for Lieutenant-Governor. He had shown 
great attachment for me. On returning from that Conven- 
tion, going down on a steamboat to St. Louis, I for the first 
time became better acquainted with him and his really very 
interesting character. He had been reading law while clerk, 
and had begun practicing about that time. Being very popu- 
lar, he had had a good many cases, and in almost all of them 
he called upon me for assistance. In fact, some time in 1853, 
we formed a regular partnership in his county, and had for 
a number of years quite a large practice there. He was a 
most valuable partner; for he always made himself familiar 
with all the facts of a case. He did not always know all that 
his witnesses would prove, but always found out what the tes- 
timony on the other side would be. He was by nature a 
master in judging men. In the selection of jurors he never 
made a mistake. He was not a fluent speaker ; in fact, he was 
very reluctant to make a speech at all. I could hardly get 
him to make the first statement of a case. When he did, it 
was always terse and cautious. In later years he often would 
tell his friends that I encouraged him to speak by advising 
him that they were a set of fools and he was the only wise one. 
If he did that, he could get along. I may have said some- 
thing to this effect, though not in the precise words for which 
he made me responsible when telling this anecdote. 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 73 

Morrison had one of the clearest heads I ever met, and, 
what is still more to his credit, he was one of the most truth- 
ful and trustworthy men. He always said what he meant, 
sometimes too bluntly, though in a way never offensive to his 
enemies. As he was positive in his opinions, he had, of course, 
political and personal enemies, though perhaps less than any 
man of a like frank, manly and decided character. He was 
respected very much by his political opponents. Let me give 
an instance. When, in 1865 or 1866, I was in Washington 
and on the floor of the House of Representatives, Washburne 
introduced me to Thaddeus Stevens, the most radical Repub- 
lican of the times. He took a seat at my side, and we had 
quite a chat. Amongst other things he said: "Bill Morri- 
son, I believe, is a member from your district?" "Yes," I 
said, "and I am sorry for it." Morrison by a small majority 
had been elected as a Democrat, and I was then a consistent 
Republican. "0, don't say so," said Stevens, "he is a Dem- 
ocrat, to be sure ; but he is one of the best men in our house. 
That man's word can always be relied upon. He never 
deceives you, and he has a very long head, too." 

His popularity was very great amongst the Americans, 
the Irish and particularly the Germans. He entered into the 
national traits of the Germans better than most American 
politicians. Very temperate himself, he was yet pleased to 
see them enjoy themselves at their wine or beer. He was 
familiar with everybody, without in the least seeking to be so. 
Flattery was unknown to him. Ambitious he was, and as a 
politician very far-sighted. He was four times a member of 
the Legislature, and one time its Speaker. He was elected 
to Congress five times, always as a Democrat, sometimes even 
in a Republican district. Repeatedly Chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means, the most important place after 
the Speaker's in Congress, he was looked upon as the leader 
of his party, not so much in the House itself as a debater, (for 
he never overcame his reluctance to public speaking,) but in 
the party councils. Of course, he was often bound to speak, 



74 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

particularly when he was a candidate before the people, and 
when he did speak, he always spoke excellent common sense, 
sometimes mixed with very witty and humorous remarks. 

In 1854 we differed politically ; but this difference had no 
effect upon our personal intercourse. We remained friends, 
though, of course, after we came together again in 1872, our 
relations became still closer, and particularly through the 
very warm friendship that sprang up between him and my 
son. 

Toward the end of the session, upon special invitation, 
Augusta also came up to Springfield. It was a very gay 
time; numerous parties were given; and there was a ball at 
the Governor's house. I think the several stays at Spring- 
field, at the Governor's house, where they met the best society, 
and at Mrs. BisselPs, who herself was most amiable and 
refined, was not only very agreeable to Mary and Augusta, 
but taught them to move at ease in larger circles than those 
at their home. 

THE GERMAN REPUBLICANS AND THE MASSACHUSETTS 
AMENDMENT 

There was no general election in our State this year; but 
the municipal and county elections in Illinois, as also the gen- 
eral elections in most of the Northern States, were very favor- 
able to the Republican cause. Some considerable trouble, 
however, arose from the passage of an amendment to the Mas- 
sachusetts Constitution, providing that naturalized citizens 
should not be allowed to vote or hold office until two years 
after the date of their naturalization. As the Republicans 
were supposed to have a majority in that State, (which was 
hardly true, as the American party was tolerably strong there, 
and, besides, it was not certain but that many Democrats 
might have voted for the amendment,) the Democrats charged 
this unfriendly legislation against citizens of foreign birth 
upon the whole Republican party. Particularly the German 
element became much excited. The more radical German 



LINCOLN FOE THE PRESIDENCY 75 

Republican press advised the German Republicans to punish 
the Republican party by voting at the next election for the 
Democrats. Other German papers proposed to hold a general 
German convention of German Republicans for the purpose 
of agreeing upon what course they should take in this emer- 
gency. In Cincinnati several societies, some of a socialistic 
and communistic character, under the lead of the well-known 
August "Willich, who was one of the military commanders in 
the Palatinate and the Baden Revolution of 1849 and who 
became later a distinguished general in the Union Army, had 
held a meeting, and had passed a resolution requesting some 
so-called prominent Germans to issue a manifesto declaring 
the principles of the German Republicans, and protesting par- 
ticularly against discrimination between native and natural- 
ized citizens. It appeared from the proceedings of the meet- 
ing, and from the editorials of the "Cincinnati Republican," 
the editor of which was Colonel Willich, that the idea was to 
call upon Republicans as well as Democrats, to leave their 
old parties and to form a new party upon the basis of general 
humanity, social reform and political morality. The Ger- 
mans invited to frame this manifesto were John B. Stall o, 
Carl Schurz, Frederick Hecker, Adolph Douai of Boston, 
Rusch of Iowa, Anneke of Chicago, Frederick Kapp of New 
York, and myself. 

All these various proposals to protest against the action 
of the State of Massachusetts appeared to me to be inadvis- 
able. The Republican National platform adopted in Philadel- 
phia had expressly declared itself against any inequality of 
rights between native and naturalized citizens. The Ameri- 
can Republican press had almost unanimously condemned the 
Massachusetts amendment. N. B. Judd, Chairman of the 
Republican State Committee, had in the name of that com- 
mittee published a strongly condemnatory letter. Mr. Lin- 
coln had in a communication to the German paper at Spring- 
field repudiated it most explicitly. In answer to the letter 
from the Cincinnati meeting, I declared my inability to draft 



76 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

such a manifesto as was desired without a conference with the 
other gentlemen. As Mr. Stallo, however, was one of that 
number and resided in Cincinnati, I suggested that he should 
prepare the draft of an address, submitting it to the Cincin- 
nati associations in the first place and then to his colleagues. 

Douai thought that he could not undertake to represent 
the Germans, unless authorized by a general German organi- 
zation, which he thought inadvisable. Schurz thought that 
without a previous conference and full understanding with his 
colleagues he could not undertake to act. Kapp thought the 
time was not appropriate, and advised his countrymen to wait 
until the different Republican State Conventions, shortly to be 
held, should have had an opportunity to express their views 
on this important question. Stallo wrote that most of his 
colleagues were better qualified to prepare such a manifesto, 
and that he would join them willingly, if such a demonstration 
should be found necessary after the State Conventions had 
made their declarations of principles. I am not aware that 
the other gentlemen ever replied to the request. At least, I 
did not hear of it. 

The great indignation felt by the Germans, and expressed 
in the entire German press with more or less vivacity, con- 
cerning this Know Nothing movement in Massachusetts, had, 
however, an excellent effect. Commencing with Ohio, in all 
the Northern States, the Republican State Conventions most 
strongly expressed themselves against the spirit of the amend- 
ment, taking thereby the wind out of the sails of the Demo- 
crats, who had attempted to make immense capital out of the 
action of the Massachusetts people. But still, up to the very 
day of the election, the Democratic papers harped lustily upon 
the Know-nothingism of the Republican party. 

JOHN BROWN, AND THE HARPER'S FERRY RAID 

Another untoward event affecting the fortunes of the 
Republican party happened in October. John Brown, a New 
Englander, had with his four sons gone to Kansas, and was 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 77 

one of the foremost leaders in resisting the Missouri Border 
Ruffians by force. Occasionally he went into Missouri liberat- 
ing slaves. He left Kansas in the summer of 1859, visiting 
several of the Northern States, and planning the liberation 
of slaves on a large scale. He with some of his Kansas asso- 
ciates took up his abode near Harper's Ferry, Virginia, and 
one Sunday night, with two of his sons and some fifteen 
others, some of them negroes, attacked and took possession 
of the United States Arsenal at the Ferry, "in the name of 
Almighty God." He and his friends then went out into the 
country, set free some slaves on neighboring estates, made 
some white men prisoners as hostages, and then resolved to 
take to the mountains, hoping that a general insurrection 
amongst the slaves would take place. But, before he could 
execute this plan, some United States marines from Wash- 
ington and some Virginia militia arrived. He retired to the 
engine-house at Harper 's Ferry, and barricaded himself. But 
the soldiers burst the doors open, and a fight ensued in which 
eight of his men were killed and three, amongst them two of 
his sons, were mortally wounded; the others, mostly negroes, 
were captured. Brown himself, severely wounded, was also 
captured. During the fight several people of Harper's Ferry 
were killed by Brown and his men. 

Brown and some of his associates were indicted for mur- 
der and high treason; were defended by able counsel; but, of 
course, were convicted by a jury and hanged, some in Decem- 
ber, some a month or two later. There was tremendous excite- 
ment all over the country at the outbreak, and this totally 
insane attempt at an insurrection was charged upon the 
Republicans as being at least its intellectual promoters. 
Brown really belonged to no party. He stated at his trial 
that he acted "on John Brown's account," "that slavery was 
forbidden by God, and he was only obeying God's commands 
in trying to crush it. ' ' There is no doubt that he was a mono- 
maniac, insane on this one point; but he forbade his counsel 
to defend him on the plea of insanity. 



78 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

The Republican press universally condemned the act; 
but some of its organs rather eulogized the man and his stoical 
bearing at the trial, which, by the way, some of the Southern 
journals also did. Some of the German radical press went 
so far as to exalt, not only the man, but the act itself. Our 
friends became very much alarmed. Trumbull wrote me a 
most anxious letter about it. It was in every way a most 
unfortunate affair, not so much that it did harm to the Repub- 
lican party, but that it was used not long after as a reason to 
justify secession. If such things could happen, it was said, 
while the Democrats were in power, they surely would occur 
with far more chance of success, when the Government would 
fall into the hands of Black Republicans. 

THE FRANCO-ITALIAN WAR 

The outbreak of the Franco-Italian war against Austria 
had diverted a great deal of attention from home affairs. 
While there was a general sympathy with Sardinia to shake 
off the Austrian yoke, yet the alliance with Louis Napoleon 
was considered very ominous, particularly among the Ger- 
mans, who hated the destroyer of the French Republic. The 
feeling was very much divided. I myself did not know if I 
could rejoice at the French success, or regret the Austrian 
defeats. 

PRESIDENTIAL. CANDIDATES 

Toward the end of 1859 the question of Presidential can- 
didates began to be mooted. The Northern Democracy 
appeared to be almost unanimous for Douglas. He had also 
very numerous adherents in Kentucky, Missouri, and Louis- 
iana. But the South generally, although not united as yet 
on a candidate of their own, either maintained an ominous 
silence or in some regions repudiated Douglas outright. 

Of Republican candidates there was no lack. Seward, 
however, seemed to be the choice of most of the Northern and 
Northwestern States. In point of ability he certainly had no 
superior. He was a man of long political experience, had 



LINCOLN FOE THE PRESIDENCY 79 

been a power in his own State, whose governor he had been, 
and was the acknowledged leader of the Republican party in 
Congress. Seward was a man, not only of considerable gen- 
eral information, but of much thought, a subtle reasoner, a 
skilful debater, and at times a great orator. He was of a 
social and rather jovial disposition, fond of good living, and 
in conversation often bluntly original. Radical in theory, he 
was conservative in action, and in this particular misunder- 
stood by both parties. He showed much aptitude in diplom- 
acy, and was not at all inferior to other diplomats in duplic- 
ity. Often he finessed, as it may be called, too much; not 
considering that even second-rate foreign ministers would 
at once see through his fine-spun arguments and discover that 
he was trying to dupe them. Compared with the despatches 
of European diplomatists, his were too diffuse and were con- 
sidered more as philosophical essays than as sober state 
papers. Seward had just returned from a tour through 
Europe and parts of Asia, and had been shown great attention 
by leading statesmen and otherwise distinguished persons. 
The German element was particularly enthusiastic for Seward. 
Senator Chase of Ohio was at least equal to Seward, as 
far as natural genius was concerned. He was perhaps a more 
logical reasoner than Seward, and a greater lawyer. He was 
radical in action as well as in thought. The great State of 
Ohio was for him, and he had friends in almost every other 
State. Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania was brought for- 
ward by his own State, but did not find much support any- 
where else. Edward Bates was the choice of Missouri, and, 
strange to say, was most strongly supported by the Germans, 
who were really almost the only Republicans in the State. 
Being an old-line conservative "Whig, and having presided 
over the Whig Fillmore Convention in 1856, which endorsed, 
not the platform, but Fillmore, the nominee of the Native 
American Convention, he had very many friends amongst the 
Republicans or People's party, as it was called in Pennsyl- 



80 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

vania, and was considered very strong in Indiana. Since 
1856 Bates had joined the Republican party in a measure. 
He was an upright man, a prominent lawyer, a most eloquent 
orator, but by no means qualified to be the leader of such a 
party as the young Republican party then was. 

Upon consultation with some of the members of the 
Republican State Central Committee and other leading 
Republicans, it was agreed that the best policy for the party 
in our State was to keep Lincoln in the background for the 
present, or at least not to push his claims to any extent. The 
friends of Seward, Bates, Cameron and Chase, would fight 
against each other, and necessarily damage the candidates 
they upheld. Lincoln, being out of the struggle in a measure, 
would be let alone, and, when brought forward at the proper 
time, would meet with no embittered enemies. Illinois, how- 
ever, made quietly a strong point. When the National Cen- 
tral Committee met in New York, N. B. JudJd, one of the 
members, succeeded in getting Chicago selected as the place 
for the National Presidential Convention. Seward 's friends 
pleaded strongly for some city in New York; Chase's, for 
Cleveland or Columbus, Ohio; Bates 's, for St. Louis. As 
Lincoln was not considered a candidate in the first instance, 
but only as a possible one in case of a failure to select one of 
the more prominent candidates, Chicago was considered as a 
sort of neutral ground, and, therefore, after a long combat, 
carried the day. I am pretty certain that, had the Conven- 
tion been held at any other place, Lincoln would not have 
been nominated. 

DEATH OF GOVERNOR BISSELL 

On the 18th of March, 1860, Governor Bissell died after 
a short sickness, of pneumonia, in his forty-ninth year of age, 
before the expiration of his term. In him Illinois lost one of 
its ablest, most honorable and eloquent sons, and I one of my 
very best friends. It was not granted him to see the cause 
victorious for which he had so nobly fought. I had been with 



LINCOLN FOB THE PRESIDENCY 81 

him in January and February, had early in March hastened 
to his sick-bed, but had to leave it before he breathed his last. 

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTIONS 

The Douglas Democrats held their State Convention early 
in January. It was a very dull one. Everyone seemed 
afraid to say anything offensive against the regular Democ- 
racy. Charleston, at that time not easy of access, had most 
strangely and ominously been selected for the meeting of the 
Democratic National Committee. The delegates appointed by 
the State Convention of Illinois were not only stout Doug- 
las men, but were also very much in favor of slavery as a 
principle. In their resolutions, after recommending Douglas 
as a candidate, they ignored the Dred Scot decision, or rather 
misrepresented it as an indorsement of the Squatter Sover- 
egnity doctrine, while, at the same time, they pledged the Illi- 
nois Democracy to support any candidate nominated at 
Charleston. Some four or five counties were not represented 
at all, and the Convention contained not one-half as many 
members as the Republican State Convention of the previous 
year. Somewhat later the regular Democracy held a State 
Convention, and, after denouncing Douglas and his party, 
also appointed delegates to the Charleston Convention. As 
a curiosity, I may mention that the Buchanan delegates for 
Charleston from the Belleville Congressional District were 
John Reynolds, the most prominent Pro-Slavery man in the 
State, and James Hughes, Buchanan's postmaster in Belle- 
ville. 

At the April Convention in Charleston a proposition 
adopting outright the Cincinnati platform of 1856 was voted 
down. It was denounced on the floor of the Convention by 
Southern delegates as a swindle, and as double-faced, being 
interpreted in the North differently from what it was in the 
South. Another resolution, endorsing distinctly the Dred 
Scott decision and knocking Popular Sovereignty in the head, 



82 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

was also voted down; and, finally, the Cincinnati platform 
was adopted with the following qualifications: 

"Inasmuch as there are differences of opinion in the 
Democratic party as to the power of a Territorial Legislature 
and as to the powers and duties of Congress under the Consti- 
tution over the institution of slavery in the Territories, the 
Democratic party will abide by the decrees of the Supreme 
Court on questions of Constitutional Law." 

Thereupon the delegates of Alabama, Mississippi, Louis- 
iana, Texas, South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas, withdrew. 
Balloting for nominations commenced. Douglas got a large 
majority after these States left the Convention, but not, as 
had been the rule in all Democratic National Conventions 
since 1844, a two-thirds vote. After innumerable ballotings, 
the Convention adjourned without making a nomination, to 
meet again at Baltimore on the 18th of June. The latter 
Convention was a most boisterous one, and it was evident that 
there was an incurable split in the Democratic party. This 
rump-convention nominated Douglas. It was supposed that 
the South had intentionally produced this condition of affairs, 
in order to allow a Republican candidate to be elected, and to 
take such election as a pretext for secession. No doubt, some 
of the Southern leaders may have planned such a scheme ; but, 
with a majority of the Southern party, secession was not 
intended, and the disagreement was much regretted. That 
the election of a Republican President justified secession was 
altogether an afterthought. 

THE REPUBLICAN STATE CONVENTION 

On the 9th of May, the Republican State Convention was 
held at Bloomington, for the nomination of Presidential elect- 
ors, Governor, and other State officers. I had been appointed 
by the county convention in St. Clair as one of the dele- 
gates. But knowing that Lincoln would be recommended for 
President, and that N. B. Judd, from his own frequent rep- 
resentations to me, would certainly be nominated for Gov- 
ernor, I felt no particular interest in the Convention ; and, as I 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 83 

had some rather important cases to try in Monroe County, just 
at the time of the meeting of the Convention, I went down to 
Waterloo. While sitting one morning in the court house, 
Judge Underwood came in with a St. Louis newspaper in his 
hands, and asked me whether I knew that I had been 
appointed delegate-at-large to the National Convention at 
Chicago. It was a surprise to me, as I had not communicated 
any wish for this or any other appointment. I had also been 
made a member of the State Central Committee. I learned 
afterwards that it was left to Mr. Lincoln to name the dele- 
gates-at-large for the State, and that he had handed in a list 
containing the names of Gustavus Koerner, Norman B. Judd, 
and, as substitutes, Orville H. Browning and Judge David 
Davis. Amongst the delegates from the districts were Judge 
Stephen T. Logan, Burton C. Cook, and George Schneider of 
Chicago. 

Presidential electors for the State at large were John 
M. Palmer and Leonard Swett. To my surprise Judd, can- 
didate for the nomineeship for Governor, was defeated, prob- 
ably by an intrigue of Mr. Swett, and Richard Yates was 
nominated. As Yates had been several times a member of the 
Legislature, had distinguished himself in Congress as a most 
resolute opponent of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 
was personally exceedingly popular, a very fine speaker and 
of engaging personality, his nomination was well received. 
As Colonel Bissell, the late Republican Governor, had been 
taken from the Democratic ranks, it was probably thought 
more politic to take this time one with Whig antecedents. 
Francis A. Hoffmann was nominated for Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor. The fact that the two delegates-at-large to the National 
Convention, as well as the nominee for Lieutenant-Governor 
were former Democrats, that one of the two Presidential elect- 
ors-at-large was also a Democrat, that many of the other 
electors and delegates had been Democrats, sufficiently showed 
that the Republican party of Illinois at least was not an old- 
line Whig and Know Nothing party, but that the Democratic 



84 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

element had a principal share in it. I may as well remark 
here again, that, in this all-important campaign of 1860, the 
heaviest and most important work was done by those who had 
belonged to the Democratic party, at least in the West. 

Trumbull, Judd, Palmer, I. N. Arnold, Cook, Fuller of 
Boone, Frederick Hecker, Francis A. Hoffmann, John Went- 
worth, Hermann Kreismann, Caspar Butz from Illinois, Sena- 
tor Doolittle, Carl Schurz from Wisconsin, Frank Blair and 
some of his Democratic friends from St. Louis, did magnifi- 
cent work on the stump. And Medill and Ray of the Chicago 
"Tribune" and George Schneider of the Chicago "Staats- 
zeitung," the leading Republican papers of the Northwest, 
all recruited from the Democratic party, contributed largely 
to the victory of the Republicans. 

The resolutions adopted by the Convention were substan- 
tially those that were afterwards adopted by the National 
Convention at Chicago and condemned in the most explicit 
terms such action in regard to naturalized citizens as had been 
enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature. Lincoln's nomina- 
tion by this State Convention for the Presidency was received 
with indescribable enthusiasm. Mr. Arnold, a sober histo- 
rian, in his book, "Lincoln and Slavery," says, "for fifteen 
minutes cheers after cheers went up from the crowd." 

THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION 

I arrived at Chicago a day before the meeting of the 
National Convention. The city was overcrowded. It was 
estimated that from the neighboring counties, from Wisconsin 
and Michigan, at least twenty-five thousand persons had 
arrived in the city. Outside of the regular delegates a very 
large delegation from the various Republican societies had 
come from New York, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, and 
Minnesota. A Seward delegation, handsomely dressed and 
with badges and banners, from New York, nearly one thousand 
strong, paraded the streets ; other delegates did the same. An 
immense wooden building called the Wigwam, capable of hold- 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 85 

ing some ten thousand people, had been erected on Lake Street. 
From all the States came very full and enthusiastic regular del- 
egations, even from Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, 
and Virginia. The delegates from these Slave States were 
mostly highly intelligent Germans. Missouri under the lead 
of Frank Blair was largely represented. They had taken a 
suite of rooms on the first floor of the Tremont for their head- 
quarters. Fred Muench, "Far West," Judge Krekel, 
C. L. Bernays, and a great many other noted Germans were 
among them, all, strange to say, very enthusiastic for 
Edward Bates. They made a great display and showed much 
activity. Our Lincoln headquarters were also at the Tre- 
mont; but there was very little noise about it. Judd, Cook, 
Yates, Palmer, Judges Davis and Logan, Jesse K. Dubois, 
Orville H. Browning and myself were almost the only persons 
who were constantly there ; but, of course, we held communi- 
cations with all our Illinois friends, and received regular and 
reliable information from all parts of the city. While the 
friends of the other candidates held processions and marched 
around with bands of music, we had made arrangements that 
the Wigwam should at the earliest opening every morning be 
filled with Illinoisans. We had them provided with tickets 
before tickets were distributed to others. 

The feeling for Seward was decidedly the strongest. 
Nearly all the German delegates, with the exception of those 
from Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, considered Lincoln only as 
a possible candidate, and preferred Seward to Chase, Cam- 
eron, or Bates. Schurz was enthusiastic for Seward. When 
I visited German localities, where, of course, the Presidential 
question was passionately discussed, I was almost the only one 
who advocated the claims of Lincoln, not only as the best and 
purest, but also as the most available candidate. 

The first day the Convention was organized Governor 
Edward Morgan of New York, Chairman of the National Cen- 
tral Committee, called David Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, to pre- 
side temporarily over the Convention. Wilmot had, as early 



86 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

as 1848, proposed in Congress, that in all Territories which we 
might acquire from Mexico slavery should never be intro- 
duced, and had become famous as the originator of the Wil- 
mot Proviso. He was a Democrat, a man not of superior tal- 
ent, but honest to the core, simple and unaffected. He looked 
like a country gentleman, had a very amiable, kind and pleas- 
ant face, was quite easy in his manners, and in several con- 
versations with him I found him a most agreeable companion. 
In a brief, but happy speech, he addressed the Convention, 
clearly denning what the Republicans aimed at. 

"We oppose," he remarked, "the new dogma by which 
the Constitution carries slavery into our Territories. We will 
read the Constitution as our fathers read it. They went to 
the grave, hoping earnestly that the stigma of slavery would 
soon vanish. Shall we leave our Constitution to our children 
and our children's children as one which carries freedom, 
or as one which carries slavery into the countries which we may 
acquire? That is the question. And we Republicans have 
but one answer to it: Freedom follows our flag, not slav- 
ery!" 

In the evening the permanent organization took place. 
George Ashmun, a distinguished member of Congress from 
Massachusetts, was made president. He made a short, but 
very impressive address. The various committees were then 
appointed. A member from each State and Territory repre- 
sented in the Convention was put on the platform committee. 
I was the one from Illinois. Judge Jessup, from Pennsyl- 
vania, having been first named, was made chairman. We 
met in the evening in the parlor of the Tremont House, but 
soon came to the conclusion that there were too many to work 
at such an important document with any degree of prompt- 
ness. So the chair appointed a sub-committee of seven. It 
consisted of Judge Jessup, George Boutwell, of Massachusetts, 
Horace Greeley, who represented Kansas in the Convention, 
Carl Schurz, S. Otto, of Indiana, and myself. The name of 
the other member has escaped me. 

Next day we met pretty early in the morning. Jessup 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 87 

had a draft which was quite voluminous, containing, how- 
ever, a very forcible indictment of the sins and crimes 
of the Democratic party, lately committed. I presented our 
Bloomington resolutions. We had not much difficulty in 
harmonizing. We wanted to disguise nothing. The only 
trouble was given us by Greeley, who insisted upon a strong 
protective plank. We did not consider the tariff question at 
this particular time as one of primary importance, and we 
humored him by declaring that "while providing revenue 
for the support of the general government by duties upon 
imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment as to en- 
courage the development of the industrial interests of the 
whole country." This amounted to no more than the estab- 
lishment of a revenue tariff bill with incidental protection, 
and did not differ essentially from former Democratic declara- 
tions on the same subject. But what was most curious, Gree- 
ley did not want a direct repudiation of Douglas's Popular 
Sovereignty doctrine. Here, of course, we did not yield, but 
condemned the doctrine most emphatically. Greeley left the 
committee, and did not further participate in our discussions 
of the platform. 

Schurz and myself insisted on a resolution concerning 
the Massachusetts Amendment, and after some considerable 
discussion one was adopted. It was as follows: 

"The Republican party is opposed to any change in our 
naturalization laws, or any State legislation, by which the 
rights of citizenship heretofore accorded to immigrants from 
foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired, and is in favor 
of giving a full and sufficient protection to all classes of cit- 
izens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and 
abroad. ' ' 

This plank was much stronger than a similar one adopted 
by the Democrats at Charleston. 

In the meantime, Frank Blair and the delegates from 
Missouri had not been idle for Bates. They had learned that 
on the second day of the Convention the delegates from Penn- 



88 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

slyvania and Indiana had met at the court house for con- 
sultation. The Pennsylvanians had been instructed for Cam- 
eron, but about their second choice there was much difference 
of opinion. The Republican party there was not well organ- 
ized, and it contained a majority of old-line Whigs and 
Native Americans. The natural tendency of a majority of 
the party was to nominate a prominent Whig who had been 
more or less affiliated with the American party. Bates filled 
the bill. The Indiana delegation was not instructed ; but the 
Whig party had furnished by far the greatest contingent of 
the party in that State. The Bates men, having learned of 
this meeting, appeared there in force, and Blair had already 
commenced making a speech for Bates when word was sent 
to our headquarters of what was going on. Browning and 
myself were immediately despatched to counteract the move- 
ment. I heard the last part of Blair's speech. He was fol- 
lowed by Fred Muench, who promised the vote of Missouri 
for Bates, and Judge Krekel closed in a rather able speech 
for Bates. 

I now asked leave to speak for Lincoln. The court 
house was crowded with many other delegates and with cit- 
izens of Chicago. The moment I named Lincoln the cheers 
almost shook the court house. I controverted the idea that 
Bates could carry Missouri, said that outside of St. Louis and 
a few German settlements represented by Krekel and Muench 
no Republican presidential candidate could get a vote; that 
the State was for Douglas, and that these same gentlemen, 
led by my friend Blair, had made Missouri a Douglas State 
two years before, and had opposed Lincoln in his race for 
the Senate; that I was astonished that my German friends 
from Missouri talked of supporting Bates, who in 1856 had 
presided over a Whig National Convention at Baltimore, 
which nominated Fillmore and Donelson, after they had been 
nominated by the Know Nothings; that Bates in the munic- 
ipal elections of St. Louis had several times supported the 
Know Nothing ticket; that I would tell this meeting in all 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 89 

candor that if Bates was nominated, the German Republicans 
in the other States would never vote for him ; I for one would 
not, and I would advise my countrymen to the same effect. 

Blair replied, but with much less vigor than he had 
thrown into his first speech. Browning spoke from a Whig 
standpoint: that Lincoln had been a Whig, which ought to 
satisfy the Pennsylvanians and those Indianians who held 
still to some of the Whig principles. On the other hand Lin- 
coln had always opposed Native Americanism. This would 
secure him the foreign Republican vote all over the country. 
He wound up with a most beautiful and eloquent eulogy on 
Lincoln, which electrified the meeting. The delegates then 
held a secret session, and vie soon learned that Indiana would 
go for Lincoln at the start, and that a large majority of the 
Pennsylvanians had agreed to vote for him for their second 
choice. 

Later in the canvass I received a letter from Judge Davis 
of the United States Supreme Court, in which he informed me 
that De Vries, a leading Republican politician of Indiana, 
had begged him to write me to come over to Indiana, and to 
make some speeches there. "He says," Judge Davis wrote, 
"he had heard your speech in the Chicago Convention to the 
Pennsylvania and Indiana delegates, and he thinks you can 
do a great deal of good in Indiana." 

Our platform was presented to the Convention on the 
evening of the second day. The resolutions were read one by 
one, and, with one exception, were at once unanimously 
adopted. The resolution opposing any change in the nat- 
uralization laws, and disapproving of any act of State Legis- 
latures to impair the rights of naturalized citizens, was asked 
to be amended by Mr. Wilmot by striking out the words 
State Legislature. Wilmot was a strong opponent of the 
Native American party, but as an old Democrat he thought 
the National Convention should not interfere with the Con- 
stitutional rights of the States to regulate the right of voting 
as they pleased. The chairman, Jessup, thought there was 



90 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

no interference meant, and that the Convention had a right 
to express its approbation or disapprobation of any act of a 
State Legislature. Messrs. Schurz and Hassaurek spoke to 
the same effect. And now happened a rather comical scene. 

Among the delegates from Massachusetts, whose seats 
were right in front of those of the Illinois delegates, was 
John A. Andrews, one of the foremost Republicans of New 
England, fiery, energetic, and most eloquent, and soon to be 
governor of Massachusetts. At first he paid no particular 
attention to the debate on the resolution; but when Massa- 
chusetts was mentioned as being the State whose action 
was disapproved, he turned round to Boutwell, who sat on 
his left, and exclaimed : ' ' That will never do ! This is aimed 
at our State. ' ' And with that he rose, and called out : ' ' Mr. 
President!" He being a man of great influence, it is hard 
to tell what might have become of the resolution, had he been 
recognized by the chair. But Boutwell, as a member of the 
platform committee, who had become convinced that this 
very section was all-important to keep the German Republi- 
cans in line, at once laid hands on Andrews 's shoulders and 
sought to push him down, while I, sitting right behind him, 
took hold of his coat tails and held him down; and while he 
was looking round with the greatest astonishment, seeming to 
ask for an explanation, the vote was taken on the resolution 
and the next one was read. Andrews was greatly excited, 
but Boutwell and I succeeded in quieting him. 

The platform as a whole was exceedingly well received 
all over the country. It was very vigorous, yet furnished 
hardly any point that could be successfully assailed. 

LINCOLN NOMINATED 

On the morning of the third day the balloting began. 
When the chairman of the New York delegation, William M. 
Evarts, nominated William H. Seward, there was most tre- 
mendous cheering. It appeared as though the whole crowd 
of spectators had all participated in the shout. But when 



LINCOLN FOR THE PRESIDENCY 91 

Norman B. Judd, after a few highly impressive words, named 
honest Abe Lincoln, there was such an outburst of cheering 
as made the vast edifice actually tremble. It seemed as though 
it would never end. Bates was then nominated by Frank 
Blair; Cameron, by Pennsylvania; and Chase, by Ohio; all 
of which nominations were civilly applauded. It was at once 
evident that the battle lay between Seward and Lincoln. Two 
hundred and thirty-three votes were a majority. Seward on 
the first ballot obtained one hundred and seventy-three and 
one-half, Lincoln one hundred and two, Cameron fifty, Bates 
forty-eight, and Chase forty-nine. There were some scatter- 
ing votes. On the second Seward one hundred and eighty- 
four and one-half, Lincoln one hundred and eighty one. On 
the third ballot, Seward one hundred and eighty-one, Lincoln 
two hundred and thirty-one and one-half, Chase twenty-four 
and one-half, Cameron eight, Bates twenty-two (only the 
Missouri vote). Pennsylvania and Indiana had nearly all 
gone for Lincoln. Before the final vote was declared, Ohio 
changed four votes from Chase to Lincoln, which would have 
nominated him, but other votes also were changed for Lin- 
coln, so that on the third ballot he had three hundred and 
fifty-four, a majority of more than a hundred necessary to 
a choice. The nomination was then made unanimous. William 
M. Evarts and Carl Schurz, both most deeply affected, while 
not disguising their regret at the defeat of their favorite, in 
very beautiful language pledged their States for the support 
of Lincoln, and predicted that Seward would do all in his 
power to bring about the success of the party. Their speeches 
were really a very affecting and interesting part of this mem- 
orable convention. 

"No words," says Mr. Arnold, "can adequately describe 
the enthusiasm by which the nomination was received in Chi- 
cago, Illinois, and throughout the Northwest. A man who 
had been placed on top of the Wigwam to announce to the 
thousands outside the progress of the balloting, as soon as the 
secretary read the result of the third ballot, shouted to those 
below: 'Fire the salute, Lincoln is nominated.' The cannon 



92 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

was fired, and before the reverberations died away, a hundred 
thousand voters of Illinois and the neighboring States were 
shouting, screaming and rejoicing over the result. The nom- 
ination of Lincoln was hailed with intense enthusiasm, not 
only by the crowds in attendance and the Northwest, but it 
soon extended through all the Free States." 

After a recess the nomination of Vice-President took 
place. The two prominent rivals were Hannibal Hamlin, an 
old Democratic stand-by of Maine, and the intrepid Cassius 
M. Clay, of Kentucky. Hamlin was nominated, owing prob- 
ably to his being a resident of the East, on the second ballot. 

When in the evening I resorted to the place where the 
German delegates and German visitors from other States 
used to congregate, I found them generally very despondent. 
Seward, or even some other radical Republican, such as Wade 
or Chase, had been their choice. They believed that Lincoln's 
nomination would not meet with half the enthusiasm that 
Seward 's would have met with, in which they were very much 
mistaken. Seward was in fact far more conservative on the 
slavery question than Lincoln. Besides, his very eminence 
as a statesman had raised against him in his own State and 
in his own party dangerous rivalry, and it was very doubtful 
whether he could carry his own State ; and without New York 
no Republican victory was to be expected. 

REFLECTIONS ON THE CONVENTION 

This Chicago Convention I consider one of the most in- 
teresting incidents in my life, ever to be remembered. Besides 
being among a highly excited multitude of people surging 
through all the principal streets, listening now and then to 
the innumerable speeches made every evening at all public 
squares and from the balconies of the great hotels, and work- 
ing for Lincoln wherever I could, I came in contact with the 
most eminent men of our party. There was old Francis P. 
Blair, the bosom friend of Andrew Jackson and the Nestor 
of the old Democratic party, whose acquaintance I had al- 
ready made at Washington in 1840. He brought me a letter 



93 

from Senator Trumbull advising me, if I should not succeed 
with Lincoln, to go in for Judge McLean, who was the next 
highest candidate for President in the Philadelphia Conven- 
tion of 1856 and had written a most able dissenting opinion 
in the Dred Scott case. Amongst other distinguished men 
present were William M. Evarts, General Nye, Horace Gree- 
ley, Governor Morgan, Governor Raymond, William C. Cur- 
tis, from New York, William Kelly, David Wilmot, Governor 
Reeder, from Pennsylvania, Carter, Hassaurek, Joshua Gid- 
dings, from Ohio, Schurz, from Wisconsin, John A. Andrews 
and George Boutwell, from Massachusetts, and many others. 

LINCOLN NOTIFIED 

A committee made up by the vice-president, headed by 
Ashmun, the president, had been appointed to inform Mr. 
Lincoln of his nomination. They were to start in the morn- 
ing on an extra train. I went down to Springfield on the 
regular train, and arrived a few hours before the committee 
did. In company with E. Peck, later one of the judges of 
the Court of Claims in Washington, I called on Mr. Lincoln 
at his handsome, but unpretending frame-house in a quiet 
part of the city. Entering the hall, on the right, there was 
a library or sitting-room, which was joined at the south by 
another, probably the dining-room. The door of the first 
room was open, and there was a sort of long table set on one 
side, on which stood many glasses, a decanter or two of 
brandy, and under the table a champagne basket. Cakes and 
sandwiches were just being placed on the table by a colored 
man. We went in there first, and asked the servant what the 
proceeding meant. "O, this is for the Chicago folks, that 
come down to congratulate master." Presently Mrs. Lincoln 
came in. After the customary "How do you do's?" she asked 
us what we thought of setting out this lunch for the commit- 
tee. We told her at once that this would hardly do. This 
meeting of the committee would be a somewhat solemn busi- 
ness. Several, perhaps, of the Eastern men were strictly 



94 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

temperance people, and they might think treating the com- 
mittee would not be the proper thing. She remonstrated in 
her very lively manner, but we insisted on dispensing with 
this hospitality, which we appreciated ourselves, but which 
might be misconstrued. I finally told the black man bluntly 
to take the things out into the back room, which he did. But 
Mrs. Lincoln still argued with us. Lincoln, being in the 
parlor right opposite, came in, and, learning of the trouble, 
said: "Perhaps, Mary, these gentlemen are right. After all 
is over, we may see about it, and some may stay and have a 
good time." 

We went to the parlor and gave Mr. Lincoln a good 
many particulars about the Convention, which of course in- 
terested him much. Some very humorous remarks were made 
about it, Mr. Peck himself being a very witty and lively 
talker. Some other of Mr. Lincoln's particular friends 
called in. About six o'clock in the evening the committee 
called, and after the usual salutations, Mr. Lincoln stand- 
ing on the threshold of the back parlor and leaning some- 
what on an arm-chair, the committee formed before him 
in the front parlor, and Mr. Ashmun very formally addressed 
him in a well-considered speech. Mr. Lincoln looked much 
moved, and rather sad, evidently feeling the heavy responsi- 
bility thrown upon him. He replied briefly, but very point- 
edly. Somehow, all of us felt more serious than the occasion 
called for. All appeared to have a foreboding of the event- 
fulness of the moment, and all felt that in this contest there 
was more than the mere possession of power and office at 
stake, nay, the vital principle of our national existence. Ice- 
water, it being a very hot evening, was the only refreshment 
served. 

The Republican Committee of Springfield had arranged 
an elegant supper for the committee at the hotel. After that, 
every one repaired to the State House and the square around 
it, where a vast deal of speaking and cheering was going on. 
Henry I. Raymond made a most capital speech in the hall of 



LINCOLN FOE THE PRESIDENCY 95 

the House of Representatives, one of the finest of the kind 
I ever heard. He was one of the great lights of the Repub- 
lican party of New York. The whole town was alive all 
night. Champagne flowed in the hotels; toast followed toast. 
Bands of music played in the streets. Fireworks were let 
off. Even the Democrats, who all liked Lincoln personally, 
joined in the jubilee. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

Lincoln's Election, and the Outbreak of the 
Rebellion 

And now commenced a campaign such as I never wit- 
nessed before or after. No party ever entered upon a can- 
vass with more devotion to principle than did the Republican 
party in 1860. The spring elections in all the Free States 
had been favorable, and inspired us with a confidence which 
is already half the victory. In point of talent the Republi- 
cans were far superior in the press and on the tribune to the 
Northern Democracy. With few exceptions the flower of the 
Whig party and of the old Democratic party had joined the 
Republican ranks. And when in June the Douglas Demo- 
cratic party, according to the terms of their adjournment, met 
again at Baltimore in convention and found themselves almost 
deserted by the Southern members, who on their part met at 
the same place and adopted an out-and-out Southern plat- 
form on the slavery question, (the former nominating Doug- 
las and Johnson and the latter Breckenridge and Lane,) it 
became almost evident that by this split Republican success 
would be certain, and the canvass was carried on by the Re- 
publicans with a vigor, energy and enthusiasm heretofore un- 
paralleled. 

It is true Douglas made almost superhuman efforts. Up 
to this time, candidates for the Presidency had, from a sort 
of delicacy, refrained from entering personally into the can- 
vass. On a few occasions, when serenaded or at receptions, 
they had made brief addresses ; but Douglas now made a regu- 
ular campaign of it, spoke at all the principal places North 
and South, and displayed a mental and physical vigor worthy 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 97 

of a better cause. That he had to make, particularly in the 
South, some very inconsistent and humiliating concessions, 
was forced upon him by his effort to sustain at the same time 
his doctrine of Territorial Sovereignty and the Southern 
heresy that the Constitution carried slavery by its own con- 
struction into all the Territories of the United States. 

ORGANIZING FOB THE BATTLE 

Arrived at home, I became busily engaged in organizing 
for the battle. The "Belleviller Zeitung" was in excellent 
hands. Frederick Rupp, who had had a thorough collegiate 
education, and, having been involved in the Revolution of 
1849, had become an exile, settling in Belleville, where he 
acted as a clerk in stores and as a bookkeeper, and also gave 
lessons in the ancient languages, and who was a steady, pru- 
dent business man, had bought, some years before, the "Belle- 
viller Zeitung," had enlarged it, and had put it on a solid 
financial foundation. He had employed Franz Grimm as 
editor, who had also while at college become involved in 
trouble with the government in 1848 and had had to flee the 
country. Grimm had been one of the most radical revolution- 
ists, and "attached himself here to the extreme wing of the 
Republicans. Yet he had practical sense enough to know 
that as a journalist, particularly in Southern Illinois, he 
should not go too far and make the paper a rank abolition- 
organ. He was an enthusiast, perfectly honest and truthful, 
and withal an able writer. He devoted all his time to the 
paper, filling weekly some three or four of its very large 
columns with well considered editorials and digesting all im- 
portant speeches and documents in such a manner as to give 
correct and full information to his readers. Perhaps he was 
a little too voluminous. The paper soon made itself noted. 
A great many of its editorials were copied in the large Ger- 
man papers, and in fact the paper during the years 1858-61 
had become a power. One of the first to volunteer, he fell 



98 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

for his ideas on the bloody field of Shiloh, a captain in the 
Forty-third Regiment of this State, universally regretted. 

Republican clubs were formed in all the precincts and 
also "Wide Awake" societies. Of these it was said by a his- 
torian of the times: 

"One of the most efficient agencies and one of the most 
characteristic of the people and the times, by which the can- 
vass of 1860 was carried on, was an organization of the 
young men known as 'Wide Awakes.' They embodied nearly 
all the young men of the party, a semi-military organization, 
but without arms, wearing glazed caps and capes and at night 
carrying torch-lights, and ready at all times for work. turn- 
ing out at political meetings, escorting speakers to and from 
the places of speaking, singing patriotic songs, circulating 
documents and canvassing votes." 

It was calculated that towards the end of the campaign 
more than half a million of men were in the organization. A 
great many of them were voters, and even elderly men became 
members, as, for instance, Governor Morgan of New York, 
who was a regular member and marched in the processions. 

I succeeded in getting up a company of ' ' Wide Awakes, ' ' 
followed by others, so that in Belleville alone they numbered 
about 300. Mascoutah turned out nearly as many, and in 
most of the election precincts companies were formed. Some 
had white capes and caps; most, however, black ones. The 
caps were bordered with red, white and blue ribbons. They 
were indeed a very valuable auxiliary and by their very 
presence prevented fights and riots, which, as the Democrats 
were desperately enraged, would have been but too common. 

MEETINGS AND SPEECHES 

It would fill several pages were I to name all the meet- 
ings that I attended and enumerate all the speeches I heard 
or made myself. In St. Clair County our greatest demonstra- 
tion took place at the end of July. Previous to it I had gone 
up to Marine in Madison County, where I met Carl Schurz. 
We addressed a very large and enthusiastic meeting, Schurz 
speaking in English and I in German. We both then came 



99 

down to Bellville, where Schurz stopped at our house. The 
next day the meeting took place in a beautiful grove in 
Cabanne's Addition. The procession had been formed in 
West Belleville. There were nine hundred wagons in line 
and as many country people on horseback. The "Wide 
Awakes" and other citizens marched in columns of four. 
Before the speaking commenced, the thirty-two young ladies 
representing the States, Frank Blair, Carl Schurz, Peter Foy, 
Colonel Peckham, and others from St. Louis, with numerous 
Belleville citizens, partook of a lunch at our house. Sophie 
and our daughters extended the most liberal hospitality to 
the assembled guests. Blair spoke first in his snappy, flowing, 
fiery way. Schurz followed in an excellent German speech. 
But really the immense assembly was so enthusiastic, so ex- 
cited that they hardly needed any exhortations. At night 
several thousands marched in torch-light processions. 

Another immense meeting at which I was present was at 
Springfield in the Fair Grounds. No less than four thousand 
"Wide Awakes" from Sangamon and the adjoining counties 
marched in procession. The assemblage in the Fair Grounds 
was estimated at 60,000. Innumerable speeches were made by 
orators from Illinois and from abroad. A great many had 
come to see Lincoln; he could not help but come out to the 
Grounds. Of course there was a vociferous call for a speech. 
He did not take one of the stands, but made a few remarks 
merely expressive of his feelings of gratitude for the interest 
shown to him. The Wigwam, opposite to where the Leland 
now stands, was crowded at night. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, 
Trumbull, Yates, and myself were the speakers. But as the 
torch-light procession was passing by, it taking nearly two 
hours before it got through, bands playing and cannon firing, 
I have no idea that the audience derived any benefit from our 
speeches. 

BELLEVILLE DEMOCRATIC MEETING 

Our great meeting at Belleville in July had roused the 
Democrats. Great preparations were made to outdo our 



100 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

meeting. While we had only a county meeting, theirs was 
advertised as a Congressional District meeting, and invitations 
were sent to all the counties in the district. James Allen, 
the Democratic candidate for Governor, a very able man and 
a famous stump-speaker, was to come, and, besides him, a 
half dozen of the most eloquent Democratic speakers of the 
country were announced to be present, though it was well 
known to the managers that hardly anyone of them would 
make an appearance. Don Morrison was the leading spirit. 
He did not care a straw about Mr. Douglas. It was 
conceded by all thinking men that Lincoln would carry 
the State. The Democrats in Illinois were fighting for 
the Legislature, as they did in 1858, and for the Senator to 
be elected by it, inasmuch as Trumbull's term was to expire 
on the 4th of March, 1861. Morrison himself thought he might 
be his successor. The meeting was gotten up regardless of 
expense. In numbers it fell far behind the Republican dem- 
onstration, but it was most handsomely arranged. A large 
array of Amazons were in the procession. Their platforms 
and banner-wagons were richly gotten up. They had splendid 
bands of music from St. Louis. The marshals rode blooded 
horses. It was a fine sight. Allen, Morrison, William H. 
Snyder and others spoke. In imitation of the ' ' Wide Awakes ' ' 
a Democratic club of young men called the ' ' Broom Brigade ' ' 
had been formed in St. Louis and had come over. They were 
handsomely uniformed and carried large brooms. But how 
different was their conduct from that of the "Wide Awakes!" 
Towards evening most of them got drunk. They raided every 
respectable saloon, because the barkeepers would not let them 
have liquor and cigars for nothing. When going down to the 
cars to be taken home to St. Louis at night, they yelled like 
Indians and insulted everyone they met, cursing the Belle- 
ville people as Black Republicans. The upshot was, that they 
got into a fight and that some of them were very badly 
handled. The rowdyish behavior of these boys and of many 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 101 

grown-up Democrats excited a reaction, and no doubt lost 
them a good many votes in the county. 

HEIGHT OF THE CAMPAIGN 

At a Republican demonstration in Chicago when Seward 
spoke, which, however, I did not attend, ten thousand "Wide 
Awakes" marched in the procession. Seward acted most 
nobly. He made many speeches in New York, Ohio, Mich- 
igan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. He even went clear to Kansas, 
and spoke in St. Louis to an immense audience. 

Governors, senators, and members of Congress of both par- 
ties took the stump, and for the last two months business was al- 
most suspended; the people hastening to and fro to hear 
stirring speeches and to march in mile-long processions. It 
was a general political intoxication; the Republicans, how- 
ever, everywhere surpassing their opponents in earnestness 
and enthusiasm. And, as it turned out, amongst all the 
friends and admirers of Lincoln, none were more ardent and 
eager than the German Republicans. The name of Lincoln 
seemed to have a charm in it. 

At a county convention we had made our nominations 
for members to the Legislature and for county officers. John 
Scheel had very reluctantly consented to become a candidate 
for the Senate. The Congressional Convention offered to 
nominate me for Congress, but I again declined. I thought 
I could be more effective if I was not speaking as a candidate, 
and, as on former occasions, did not feel any desire to be in 
Congress. Judge Gillespie was nominated with the hope that 
his old Whig friends and the Native Americans would vote 
for him against Mr. Foulke, who was a mere light-weight of 
no consequence. 

There was another party in the field which called itself 
the Constitutional Union party. It was principally composed 
of Southern Whigs and Native Americans. It held a con- 
vention at Baltimore and nominated John Bell, of Tennessee, 
and Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, passing but one res- 



102 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

olution, to the effect that it recognized no political principles 
other than the Constitution of the country, the Union of the 
States and the enforcement of the laws. 

Of course, this meant nothing. The Republican plat- 
form as well as the two Democratic platforms, had also de- 
clared in favor of the Constitution and the Union; and that 
the laws should be enforced, was a mere platitude. Both Mr. 
Bell and Mr. Everett were very able and highly respectable 
gentlemen, had been distinguished members of Congress, and 
had held high offices in their own States! but they strangely 
misunderstood the signs of the times if they thought they 
could rally a majority of the people on such an anodyne 
program. 

At that time Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, held their 
State elections in October, and the result of those elections 
was always an indication of what the vote would be in the 
November Presidential election. Now all these States went 
Republican, which, of course, made Lincoln's election still 
more certain. 

ELECTION DAY 

At last the decisive day, the sixth of November, arrived. 
By eight o'clock in the evening we had already ascertained 
that St. Clair County had elected the entire Republican ticket, 
Lincoln receiving eight hundred majority. But that hardly 
excited any interest. At that hour the despatches from the 
outside would come in. The telegraph office was crowded. 
The first reports from Illinois left no doubt of Lincoln's hav- 
ing carried the State. From Wisconsin and Iowa similar 
favorable reports came in. About ten o'clock we heard suf- 
ficient from Ohio and Indiana to know that Lincoln had got 
their votes. About half-past eleven we got the anxiously 
looked for first news from the city of New York. It had gone 
Democratic by about thirty-five thousand votes. Most of the 
people in the office thought all was lost. Thirty-five thousand 
majority! Lincoln is beaten! I took off my hat, waved it, 
proposed three cheers for Lincoln, and sent some bystanders 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 103 

up town to get a basket of champagne. No doubt most per- 
sons present thought me crazy. But it was well known to 
experienced politicians, that, if the Democratic stronghold 
could give only 35,000 majority, it would be easily overcome 
by the State vote. Yet I could hardly convince the crowd 
of the correctness of my opinion. But about twelve o'clock, 
just when the champagne arrived, there came a despatch from 
New York in the following terms : ' ' Long Legs has carried the 
State by about forty thousand." Another basket was sent 
for. Lincoln was elected! 

In Illinois Lincoln's majority over Douglas was 13,000. 
Yates and the entire State ticket were elected by 12,000 ma- 
jority, and the Republicans had also succeeded, in spite of the 
unjust apportionment, in electing a working majority in both 
Houses of the Legislature. John Scheel for Senate, although 
he received about six hundred majority in St. Clair, was yet 
defeated by about ninety votes, owing to an unprecedented 
majority for Underwood in Monroe County, which was ob- 
tained, as was generally believed, by an importation of Mis- 
sourians. As there existed no registry law at the time, such 
an importation could easily be accomplished, since in the 
Mississippi-Bottom precincts in Monroe all the election of- 
ficers and the people generally, were most radical Democrats 
and more Pro-Slavery than the Missourians themselves. Sim- 
ilar practices had also reduced our majority in St. Clair 
County by an unexpectedly large vote in the Illinoistown pre- 
cinct opposite St. Louis. Still, our average majority in the 
county was some seven hundred, and a gain of more than three 
hundred over the election of 1858. As usual, Underwood's, 
friends had distributed again my Republican tickets, but for 
Scheel 's name Underwood's had been substituted. 

In the electoral college Lincoln received one hundred and 
eighty votes, Breckenridge seventy-two, Bell thirty-nine, 
Douglas twelve. Douglas had received only the Missouri 
vote, nine, and the New Jersey vote, three. Of course, the 
popular vote was quite different. Lincoln had received in all 



104 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

1,800,000, Douglas 900,000, Breckenridge 685,000, Bell 585,- 
000. Lincoln had, therefore, only a plurality of votes as com- 
pared with the votes of the three other candidates. But that 
had happened before in Presidential elections, and was a 
matter of very frequent occurrence in State elections for 
governor, congressmen and all other State officers, was per- 
fectly constitutional, and therefore furnished no ground for 
complaint to the Secessionists. Besides, the Douglas vote 
was not a disunion vote, nor was the Bell vote. The Breck- 
enridge vote might be considered in the main a disunion vote, 
and, compared with the Lincoln, Bell, and Douglas vote, was 
very insignificant. Bell had received the votes of Virginia, 
Kentucky and Tennessee. 

LINCOLN IN SPRINGFIELD 

Not long after the election I went to Springfield. Mr. 
Lincoln was of course the center of interest. He usually 
received visitors at the Governor's office in the State House. 
But the State Central Committee had a room in one of the 
side-streets, where he met a few of his nearer friends for con- 
sultation. Being a member of the State Committee, I of 
course was frequently in this special council. Among those 
whom Lincoln mostly consulted were Norman B. Judd, Judge 
Logan, Jesse Dubois, and some other members of the Central 
Committee. John G. Nicolay, a young man, but very sensi- 
ble and discreet, acted as his private secretary, which post 
he retained during Mr. Lincoln's presidency. I find that in 
a communication of November 18th, to the ' ' Westliche Post, ' ' 
I gave some account of the condition of things, as I found 
them at this important period. Here are a few extracts: 

"Mr. Lincoln receives his visitors with his accustomed 
cordiality, illustrates his conversation with apt anecdotes, and 
laughs very heartily when others laugh. It was soon settled 
that Lincoln should do nothing to define his future policy. 
The many requests and statements, coming in part from sin- 
cere friends of his, particularly from the Border States, in 
part also from rather suspicious sources, such as the 'New 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 105 

York Herald,' that he is to issue a manifesto to quiet the 
South, should be disregarded. Lincoln has no idea of taking 
a position towards the South which might be considered a 
sort of an apology for his election. Lincoln having yesterday 
read an article in a Virginia journal, in which it was said, 
that he, in order to quiet the South, should merely de- 
clare that the South had the same right to bring her slave 
property into the Territories as the North had to bring her 
property there, remarked that that reminded him of the story 
of the little girl who had asked her mother to run out and 
play. The mother refused. The girl only begged the harder 
until her mother lost patience and gave her a whipping, upon 
which the girl exclaimed : ' Now, Ma, I can certainly run out. ' 
That there is a throng of office-seekers, as the Democrats try 
to make it appear, is not true. A few of the visitors may like 
to call themselves to his recollection ; but it is well known that 
no important appointments will be fixed upon before con- 
sultation with prominent leaders from other States. Of course, 
amongst ourselves, the cabinet question is often discussed. I 
have my own views about it, which, however, do not rest upon 
any definite opinion expressed by Mr. Lincoln. I presume 
that Mr. Seward will be offered the Secretaryship of State or 
the London mission. Should he decline both of these posi- 
tions, Preston King, or Governor Morgan, of New York, might 
get either place. Pennsylvania may propose Cameron, Judge 
Reeder, or Wilmot for a cabinet post. Governor Chase will 
have to be taken into consideration. Perhaps the Attorney- 
General or the Secretary of the Interior may come from Illi- 
nois. Montgomery Blair is spoken of also for Attorney-Gen- 
eral." 

When I wrote about one cabinet minister being likely to 
be taken from Illinois, I meant Norman B. Judd. 

LETTER ON THE STATUS OF NEGRO SLAVES UNDER THE LOUISIANA 

PURCHASE 

I may remark here, that in the Dred Scott decision, in 
which it was taken for granted, that the immense territory 
which extended west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky 
Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico north to the sources 
of the Mississippi River, known as the Louisiana Purchase, 
was all slave territory when we acquired it from France by 



106 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the treaty of 1803, it was contended by some judges of the 
Supreme Court that by the stipulations of that treaty we were 
bound to retain slavery in all this vast region, and that we 
never had a right to interdict it in any part of it, as had been 
done by Congress when the Missouri Compromise had been 
enacted. Having a general impression from my reading of 
French history that France had abolished slavery in all its 
colonies, I had for some time past investigated the matter 
closely, and had found that the National Assembly as early 
as 1789 by a general law abolished the slave trade, and that 
the French Convention in 1793, had also passed the following 
law: "The National Convention agrees that the slavery of 
negroes is abolished in all the colonies, that all men without 
distinction of color are French citizens and shall enjoy all the 
rights guaranteed by the Constitution." At that time, how- 
ever, Louisiana belonged to Spain, but was retroceded to 
France in 1801 by the Treaty of San Ildefonso, and remained 
to France until 1803, when it passed to us. 

Now it seemed to me clear, and I had in the meantime 
taken legal advice from Mr. Hilgard, Sr., who had been judge 
of the Supreme Court in Rhenish Bavaria, under the French 
law, that so far from the negroes in Louisiana being slaves 
when we purchased the country, they were not only free but 
French citizens and entitled under the treaty stipulations to 
be protected in all their rights. I considered this point at 
least as a very interesting one. The establishment of it was of 
course at this time only of theoretical value. But I elaborated 
it in a letter, dated October 20, 1860, to the "Missouri Demo- 
crat," and it was republished in a good many papers in the 
North, amongst others in the leading Republican paper in 
Cleveland, Ohio. 

GOVERNOR CHASE 

While I was in Springfield during the winter after the 
election, Mr. Chase paid a visit to that place. I had not 
known him before, and one morning he had himself intro- 
duced to me at my room, and said he was glad to make my 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 107 

acquaintance; that he had read my article and was highly 
pleased and interested by it, and only regretted that I had not 
sooner given publicity to my view. I told him that I was not 
willing as a lawyer to commit myself on so important a ques- 
tion; that I had written for information to my European 
friends a year before, but had only lately received such reli- 
able information, with the citation of all the laws and treaties 
bearing on the question, as would have justified my publishing 
my opinion. 

Governor Chase was a very handsome and commanding 
looking man, of graceful manners, of high intellect and vast 
information. In ordinary times he would have made an 
incomparable President. But it is very doubtful whether he 
could have steered the ship of state safely through the storms 
of the rebellion. He was far more ambitious than Lincoln, and 
had not the latter 's almost saintly patience and self-denial. 
He had not the same sympathy with the people, even the hum- 
blest, that Lincoln possessed ; nor could he read so accurately 
the average feeling of the American people as Lincoln did. 
Chase would have attempted to reach his ends by mighty 
strides, while Lincoln, although somewhat in advance of the 
masses, sought to attain it step by step. Lincoln by his pure 
and unselfish conduct raised no rivalry at all in his own 
party; Chase would, most unquestionably, have met with 
strong opposition in its ranks. 

SECESSION 

On the 20th of December the Legislature of South Caro- 
lina called a convention, which passed an ordinance, declar- 
ing that the State had dissolved her connection with the Uni- 
ted States government. Other States had already taken, by 
their Legislatures, steps in the same direction, calling conven- 
tions evidently with a view of following in the footsteps of 
South Carolina. Buchanan, in his message to Congress on the 
first Monday of December, 1860, had taken the strange posi- 
tion, that, while secession was unconstitutional, yet, as that 



108 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

same Constitution did not provide for forcing a State to 
remain in the Union, he saw no way of preventing secession. 
What, however, was still more alarming was, that a good 
many people in the Free States had come to think that rather 
than have a civil war, it would be best to let the States wish- 
ing to secede, go in peace. Some rather prominent Republi- 
cans seemed to favor this. Horace Greeley for one, ever 
impracticable, gave out in his "Tribune" the motto: "Let 
the erring sisters depart in peace!" 

Looking upon these signs as most dangerous, I sent an 
extended communication to the "Missouri Democrat," in 
which I sought, by reference to the very first words of the 
Constitution, by the debates in the Convention which framed 
the Constitution, and in the State Conventions which finally 
adopted the Constitution, and by reference to the decisions of 
the Supreme Court, to establish that, while States could not 
be forced to remain in the Union, the people of the States as 
citizens of the United States, could and should be forced to 
remain loyal to the Constitution, or be punished for high trea- 
son. I argued, that, if we could not live together in peace as 
one nation, we certainly could not live in peace as two nations 
having different domestic institutions ; that secession would be 
the end of the only free government in the world, which we 
were bound by every consideration of material and moral wel- 
fare to transmit intact to our posterity; that civil war was 
preferable to the destruction of our Union; and that, should 
it come, the government should call at once for such a mili- 
tary force as would make resistance impossible. This article 
was republished in many papers, and, upon requests from 
friends, it was published in pamphlet form, and scattered far 
and wide. In private conversation, I impressed Lincoln as 
forcibly as I could with the idea that, in case this emergency 
should happen, he should call into the field at once several 
hundred thousand militia. I mentioned to him what the 
Swiss government had done, when seven cantons, only some 
years previously, had seceded, and had raised an army of 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 109 

forty thousand men. The Bund raised 100,000, which at once 
without serious fighting made resistance hopeless. These two 
documents are among my papers. 

The pressure brought to bear upon Lincoln, after South 
Carolina had seceded, to soothe the South by a manifesto of a 
conciliatory character, raising hopes of the concessions that 
under his guidance Congress would be likely to make, became 
very great. But when Lincoln once had made up his mind, 
he showed a firmness which even many of his friends had not 
expected to find in him. 

PERSONAL AND POLITICAL, CONNECTIONS WITH LINCOLN 

On the meeting of the Legislature and the session of the 
Supreme Court, I went to Springfield and hardly ever left 
the capital until some time in May. Yates was inaugurated; 
Gullom elected Speaker of the House; while Francis A. Hoff- 
mann, Lieutenant-Governor, presided over the Senate. Yates 
and Cullom were rather young and inexperienced, and needed 
a good deal of assistance. There was no trouble in electing 
Trumbull United States Senator. He had made himself a 
great name in the Senate, and had exerted himself valiantly in 
the last campaign ; so that he was deservedly elected without 
opposition for the next term. It was during this session that 
I became really intimate with Governor Yates. He used to 
consult me frequently; and, as Mr. Lincoln spent much of 
his time in the Governor's office, I had an excellent oppor- 
tunity of studying the character of the President-elect also. 
To be sure, we had been before on very friendly terms, but 
more in a social and professional way than in a political one. 
Till 1856 we had belonged to different political parties; still, 
ever since 1842 I was always the greatest part of the winter 
at Springfield, as a member of the Legislature, as Lieutenant- 
Governor, or on professional business and as judge of the 
Supreme Court. 

Lincoln, after court adjourned for the day, was a regu- 
lar visitor in the court-rooms, where judges and lawyers 



110 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

used to spend their evenings, and entertained the company 
very often by telling his anecdotes, of which he seemed to 
have an inexhaustible fund. For some reason or another he 
seemed to take a particular liking for me. Being engaged 
together in an important case in 1854 for the city of St. 
Louis against the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad Company, or 
rather against the directors of that company, as also in 
another case in the United States Court for certain stock- 
holders in the Atlantic Railroad Company against some cred- 
itors of that road, I had also occasion to learn his way of prac- 
ticing law. Of course he argued some cases before the 
Supreme Court while I was a member, but they had generally 
been of little importance, though we always admired his 
extreme fairness in stating his adversary's case as well as his 
own, and the often quaint and droll language used by him. 
Of his good disposition towards me I may mention one 
instance. Under the charter of the Central Railroad, that 
corporation was exempt from paying taxes on the land 
granted to it by the State in consideration of paying into the 
treasury seven percent of the annual gross income of the 
company. It had appeared to our State Auditor and Treas- 
urer that the returns made of such income were much too 
low, and yet there seemed to be no remedy, if such was the 
case, to get the road to do justice to the State. A special law 
was passed appointing the Supreme Court to sit as a trial 
court and to hear evidence as to the real income of the com- 
pany, and to decide what the amount to be paid should be for 
some years past. The Governor and the State officers had 
appointed Judge Logan and Mr. Lincoln special attorneys 
for the State to try the case at Mount Vernon in the fall term 
of 1860. Before that time, however, Lincoln had been nomi- 
nated, and he at once gave up his practice. Just before the 
term came on, I received a commission from the Governor to 
take Lincoln's place; and I learned afterwards that this 
appointment was made at his instance. It was quite an 
important case, for if the State succeeded there would have 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 111 

been several hundred thousand dollars coming to it according 
to the information of the State officers, received from numer- 
ous persons apparently well informed. 

It was upon this occasion that I became acquainted with 
the late General McClellan. He had resigned from the engin- 
eer corps, had been appointed chief-engineer of the Central 
Railroad and, I believe, had been vice-president of the same. 
He was the principal witness for the company. The trial 
lasted some days, and I, alternately with Judge Logan, had 
to cross-examine him at length and very thoroughly. The 
hotel accommodations at Mount Yernon at that time were 
most miserable. It so happened that he and Mr. Steward, 
one of the counsel for the road, and Judge Logan and myself, 
had to be put in one room, with but two beds. 

McClellan was hardly of medium size, but well and com- 
pactly built, and had quite a pleasing face and very agreeable 
manners. As nothing then could lead one to foresee his 
future distinction, I must say I did not pay much attention 
to his appearance, and I cannot now picture him to myself in 
imagination. I know this much, however, that he showed in 
his testimony a perfect familiarity with the railroad business 
to the minutest detail, and was at home in giving figures. He 
certainly left the impression of a very great intellect in his 
profession at least. His testimony carried the judges in favor 
of the road, although we had a good many railroad men on 
our side to show that the revenue must have been much 
greater than the road bad thus far returned. But of course 
there was a good deal of guess-work in their testimony. 

Lincoln, though in very limited pecuniary circumstances, 
was not only exceedingly moderate, but generous in his pro- 
fessional charges. In one very important case involving a 
constitutional question, and in which the Central Railroad 
succeeded in getting rid of paying some hundred thousands 
of dollars annual taxes, he had charged but $5,000.00. The 
road thought the fee too high. Mr. Lincoln did not want to 
ask anything unfair. He wrote me a letter, stating that as I 



112 

knew all about the case, and had been present when it was 
argued, he would be obliged to me to give him my opinion 
whether his demand was unreasonable or not. He also stated 
that he had written to some other members of the bar, and he 
would be guided by our opinion. I advised him that his 
charge was very unreasonable, and that he ought to have 
charged at least $10,000.00. I presume he received about the 
same answer from the other gentlemen. 

In the case of the Atlantic Road stockholders, men of 
wealth, I had advised them to employ Mr. Lincoln as my 
assistant, knowing his great influence with the federal judge 
then presiding. It is true, I had studied the case, and made 
up my opinion regarding it, but still we consulted a good deal 
about the defense to be made, and put in our answer, though 
the case did not come up for argument until June, 1860, after 
Lincoln's nomination. He asked to be relieved from attend- 
ing to the case under the circumstances, which demand was of 
course granted by our clients, who, however, offered to pay 
him a handsome fee for the work he had done thus far. He 
utterly refused to take anything, although they almost pressed 
the money on him. 

Now at this time, one Cotton State seceding after another, 
and a weak cabinet letting the Union go to pieces, Lincoln felt 
the want of support and advice, though he was not very prone 
to be turned from his own determination by others. As I was 
one of the few who took part in the various discussions of 
these startling events, I was brought nearer to Lincoln than 
ever before. I cannot say that there was any warm friend- 
ship between us. Lincoln, though one of the most just, kind 
and indulgent of men, who intentionally I believe never did 
an unkind thing to anyone, was not in my opinion, as also in 
the opinion of others who knew him well, really capable of 
what might be called warm-hearted friendship. But I can 
say in truth that I enjoyed his confidence to a very great 
extent. 

It will be remembered that at the Decatur State Conven- 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 113 

tion in 1860 he had placed my name first on the list of State 
delegates-at-large to the National Convention at Chicago. 
Now early in January the State of Virginia by its Legislature 
had passed a resolution proposing the appointment of commis- 
sioners by the several States to meet in convention on the 4th 
day of February at Washington to consult about a peaceable 
settlement of the difficulties between the States. As some of 
the Republican States had at once accepted the invitation, our 
Legislature rather reluctantly, and rather, as they stated, out 
of regard for the State of Virginia, and from love of the Con- 
stitution, passed resolutions for the Governor to appoint five 
commissioners to meet the delegates from the other States. 
If Illinois had declined the invitation it might have been con- 
sidered as an indisposition on the part of the President-elect 
to lend himself to any sort of conciliation. Governor Yates 
of course left it to Mr. Lincoln to select the commissioners, 
and when the nominations were made, I found my name again 
amongst the number. They were Ex-Governor Wood of 
Quincy, Judge Stephen T. Logan of Springfield, Burton C. 
Cook of Ottawa, Thomas Turner of Freeport, the last two 
members of Congress, and myself. As I was certain that this 
conference would have no result, inasmuch, as when the 
appointment was made, nearly all the Cotton States had 
already seceded and had appointed delegates to meet at Mont- 
gomery on the same fourth of February for the purpose of 
organizing a government, and that the only result might be a 
proposal to surrender matters of principle, I at once declined, 
but asked the Governor, without consulting Mr. Lincoln, to 
appoint John M. Palmer in my place, which he did. There 
being now three former Democrats delegates in the commis- 
sion, I was sure that our delegates at least, would not accede 
to anything which might show a weakness on the part of the 
Republican party. I have before mentioned that the Repub- 
licans of Democratic antecedents, as a general rule, were firmer 
and more energetic in facing the rebellion, than those mem- 
bers who had heretofore belonged to other parties. 



114 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Early on Sunday morning, January the 6th, I heard a 
knock at my door while I was still in bed. I unbolted the 
door, and in came Mr. Lincoln. "I want to see you and 
Judd. Where is his room?" I gave him the number and 
presently he returned with Judd while I was dressing. "I 
am in a quandary," he said; "Pennsylvania is entitled to a 
cabinet office. But whom shall I appoint?" "Not Cam- 
eron," Judd and myself spoke up simultaneously. "But 
whom else ? ' ' We suggested Reeder or Wilmot. ' ' Oh, ' ' said 
he, ' ' they have no show. There has been delegation after del- 
egation from Pennsylvania, hundreds of letters, and the cry 
is 'Cameron, Cameron!' Besides, you know I have already 
fixed on Chase, Seward and Bates, my competitors at the con- 
vention. The Pennsylvania people say: 'If you leave out 
Cameron you disgrace him. ' Is there not something in that ? ' ' 
I said: "Cameron cannot be trusted; he has the reputation 
of being a tricky and corrupt politician. " "I know, I know, ' ' 
said Lincoln, "but can I get along if that State should oppose 
my administration?" He was very much distressed. We 
told him he would greatly regret his appointment. Our inter- 
view ended in a protest on the part of Judd and myself 
against the appointment. 

POSSIBLE DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT 

I must now refer to a rather unpleasant incident in my 
political life. At no time before or after Mr. Lincoln's elec- 
tion had I spoken to him about having a wish to hold an office. 
But when the Legislature had met, some of my friends, Gov- 
ernor Yates for one, and Lieutenant-Governor Hoffmann for 
another, had been talking to Mr. Lincoln about appointing me 
to the Berlin mission. I had not suggested to them anything 
of the kind, but they informed me that Mr. Lincoln had said 
that he would do his best for me, and had spoken in such 
terms about their application that they felt certain that I 
could obtain the place if I wished it. I told them that I 
would accept it if offered, but would not ask Mr. Lincoln at 



OUTBKEAK OF THE REBELLION 115 

that time for any office. It soon, however, got into the papers 
that Judd would have a cabinet office, and I the mission to 
Berlin. In fact, I received several applications for secretary- 
ship of legation from gentlemen in different States, who 
labored under the wrong impression that ministers had the 
appointment of secretaries of legation. Not only that, but so 
widespread was the rumor of my nomination for that office 
being contemplated that it got into the papers in Germany, 
and I received several congratulatory letters from friends in 
Germany. Now it is certain that Mr. Lincoln had intended 
to make Judd a cabinet member. But when he came to Wash- 
ington, Congress and the Peace Conference being in session, 
there was such opposition from some of the members to Judd 's 
appointment that he was bound to yield to it. I presume this 
pressure upon him came from Lincoln 's old conservative Whig 
friends and from Union men in the Border States. By the 
time of Mr. Lincoln's arrival in Washington it was pretty 
well known who would be in the cabinet: Seward, Chase, 
Montgomery Blair, Gideon Wells of Connecticut, Bates, Cam- 
eron and Judd. Now it so happened that Seward and Bates 
were the only old Whigs, while all the others had been strong 
Democrats. Seward, Chase and Judd, were moreover, con- 
sidered as very radical. Besides, it was urged that, the Presi- 
dent being from Illinois, that State should not have a cabinet 
minister, also. Under all these circumstances Mr. Lincoln 
could not well be blamed for yielding to these considerations. 
But Judd had been so prominently brought before the public, 
having even accompanied Mr. Lincoln to Washington, that he 
had to be recognized, as the phrase goes, and so he got the Ber- 
lin mission just a few days before the inauguration. I was 
informed of this in due time, and did not at all think hard 
of Mr. Lincoln, who had personally promised me nothing. 
An old-time Whig, Caleb F. Smith, of Indiana, was substituted 
for Judd and was given the Interior Department, as bad an 
appointment as that of Cameron and as short-lived. 



116 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

BEARING AND CHARACTER OP LINCOLN 

In spite of all the anxiety and perplexity of the situation, 
Lincoln, when in a mixed company, was often as jovial and 
even as droll as usual. But the almost perennial sadness and 
gloom which was so distinguished a feature in his character, 
was rather heightened by this, for no one felt deeper the awful 
responsibility cast upon him, and none perceived more clearly 
the danger of the situation. Some of his visitors from the 
East, from his conversation, frequently interspersed with 
quaint illustrations and laughable stories, I know, left with the 
idea that he was a frivolous man. But they judged from only 
one side of his complex character, which even to this day has 
remained an enigma to all those who did not know him inti- 
mately. And even some of those have misunderstood him. 
Most of his biographies are exaggerated and inflated pane- 
gyrics, which none would have condemned more strongly than 
Mr. Lincoln himself, if they had been written while he was 
amongst us. It is doubtful to my mind whether any one but 
Lincoln could have carried the Union through the raging war 
of the rebellion. It required just such a complex and anom- 
alous character. His success in saving the Union without 
overstepping the Constitution to a fatal extent, has made him 
the idol of the people. Perhaps for his fame in the world's 
history his death when it happened was most fortunate. 

LINCOLN'S INAUGURATION 

On the llth of February, Mr. Lincoln left Springfield 
for Washington. I had returned to Belleville a few days 
before. On the first of March, after having learnt for cer- 
tain the fact that Judd would receive the Berlin mission, I 
left for "Washington to attend Mr. Lincoln's inauguration, 
which I had intended, and had promised Mr. Lincoln, to do. 
Even the day before the inauguration a strong effort was 
made to change the cabinet as regards Mr. Chase. I was 
myself present, when some very prominent men from Ohio, 
Judge Carter, for one, tried to persuade Mr. Lincoln to sub- 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 117 

stitute some other man from Ohio for Mr. Chase. The entire 
conservative element thought him too radical. Mr. Lincoln 
listened quietly and gave no definite answer. But Judd, Cook 
and myself, after the Ohioans left, most decidedly and almost 
passionately urged the President not to yield. He made no 
change, and I believe would have made none even if we had 
not interposed. 

At Washington I met and made the acquaintance of 
many very distinguished men: some of them members of the 
Peace Congress, which had just adjourned after passing some 
unmeaning resolutions that died away unnoticed ; others, mem- 
bers of Congress; and still others, prominent Republicans 
from all quarters. Mr. Lincoln himself introduced me to 
Charles Francis Adams, who soon after went to England as 
our minister. Amongst others, I was introduced to General 
Scott, Senator Andrew Johnson, the next Vice-President, to 
Sumner, and even to the Vice-President, John C. Brecken- 
ridge. Washington was crowded. Thousands of young men 
had come for the sole purpose of protecting Mr. Lincoln 
against violence or assassination, all well armed. The city 
itself was intensely secessionist. There was one or two militia 
companies of Americans, whose loyalty was strongly sus- 
pected. Only one German company of rifles could be relied 
upon, and some few hundred marine soldiers, and a company 
of U. S. artillery. There were strange rumors, and a general 
feeling of uneasiness and anxiety prevailed. Even General 
Scott was alarmed. Some guns were placed at points from 
where Pennsylvania Avenue could be placed under fire. It 
was said that all along the line of the procession General Scott 
had stationed riflemen at intervals on tops of houses. I did 
not see them. I did not see the procession at all. I had with 
Senator Trumbull gone to the Senate Chamber. At about 
eleven o'clock the procession had reached the Capitol, and 
President Buchanan, Mr. Lincoln, Vice-President Brecken- 
ridge and Hannibal Hamlin had entered the Senate parlor. 
Very soon the judges of the Supreme Court and the diplo- 



118 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

matic corps came into the Senate Chamber, and under the 
lead of the United States marshal, all moved out on the east 
portico, where a sort of platform had been run out from the 
marble steps towards the open place fronting the Capitol. Of 
course I do not mean to give a description of this momentous 
scene. Here, however, is an extract from a letter I wrote to 
Sophie : 

"Washington, March 4, 1861. 

Five o'clock in the afternoon. 
Dearest Sophie: 

Lincoln is President. In the presence of at least ten 
thousand people he took the oath and read with a firm voice 
his inaugural. I stood close to his chair; next to me stood 
Douglas. On the other side of Lincoln stood Buchanan and 
Governor Chase of Ohio ; opposite to him, Chief Justice Taney. 
At the close of his speech he was cheered by thousands. The 
weather was fine and the greatest order prevailed." 

"While the weather was fine, it was nevertheless quite cold 
on that platform. Douglas had no overcoat, and I saw he was 
shivering. I had not only a big overcoat on but also a thick 
traveling shawl, which I flung over him to make him com- 
fortable. At several passages of Lincoln's inaugural, Doug- 
las pressed my arm, saying, "Good, good." Yet only a few 
days afterwards he commented very severely on the speech, 
called it a declaration of war, and placed himself and all his 
friends in Congress in opposition to the administration. 

Another quotation from my letter to Sophie : 

"Concerning myself I can say only what I informed you 
of before I left. Lincoln could not make his cabinet as rad- 
ical as he wanted to. Judd, who had counted with certainty 
on a place in the cabinet, and for whom we had all interested 
ourselves, was put back, and Lincoln had to offer him the Ber- 
lin mission. This is all right, and my friends cannot com- 
plain about it. Besides, Lincoln had never made me any 
promise. We do not like the cabinet as a whole, but Lincoln 
was forced into some of the appointments. The Union men in 
the Border States declared to him that they must give up the 
fight, if the cabinet was made too radical. 

"You know that I do not care anything about this mat- 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 119 

ter. It is only that it was so generally taken for granted that 
I would get the mission, which is disagreeable." 

After remaining a couple of days in Washington I 
returned to Belleville. 

The time from the inauguration to the firing on Fort 
Sumter and its surrender was one of deep depression for all 
friends of the Union. There were rumors of the administra- 
tion weakening, of rebel commissioners being received with a 
view of compromising, of Seward's playing fast and loose. 
The cry of some of the most influential papers, "Let the err- 
ing sisters go in peace," was still heard. Some of the reports 
of what was going on at the capital were probably unfounded. 
Great dissatisfaction prevailed, and the press in the North- 
west particularly was loud in its denunciation of Lincoln and 
Seward. 

THE CALL TO ARMS 

It was almost a relief to the Union men when the news 
arrived of the bombardment of Fort Sumter and its surrender 
on the 14th of April. Everybody felt that the die was cast. 
' ' This is the last of slavery, ' ' were the first words uttered by 
me when the telegram was read in a crowd. On the 15th the 
President's proclamation appeared, calling upon the loyal 
governors for 75,000 men to suppress the rebellion. The 
public square at Belleville was at once crowded with men and 
women. Some one struck up the Star Spangled Banner, and 
the whole assemblage at once joined in, many with tears of 
emotion in their eyes. There was no distinction of parties. 
A meeting being organized in the court house, a most radi- 
cal Democrat, John Murray, was called to the chair. Jehu 
Baker made an impressive speech. I spoke briefly, and when 
I called upon the assembled multitude to rise and to affirm 
they would stay by the Union to the very last, all rose and 
swore they would. It is impossible to describe the feeling of 
enthusiasm which pervaded the whole North. In all the loyal 
States of the Union the people of all classes rose, and men 
and money were furnished in lavish profusion. More than 



120 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

thirty millions of dollars were offered by Legislatures, banks 
and other corporations, and private individuals. There was 
but one cry : ' ' To arms to arms ! ' ' 

ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 

The same day Governor Yates by proclamation convened 
the Legislature in special session for the 23d of April for the 
purpose of organizing troops and placing the State on the 
best footing to render assistance to the general government in 
preserving the Union. At the same time the Adjutant-Gen- 
eral proclaimed that the quota of Illinois was six regiments 
of infantry. Then there was a perfect race as to who should 
volunteer first. Augustus Mersy, whom I have mentioned 
before as having been an officer in the Baden army and as 
having with that army joined the people's cause in 1849, after 
commanding as a colonel and brigadier-general in various 
actions against the Prussians, at once started a company the 
day after the President's call. A second one was organized 
by Mr. Tiedemann. Word was sent from Mascoutah that one 
was getting up there, and from Lebanon came the same infor- 
mation. Henry Goedeking and Sharon Tyndale, then post- 
master, were most active in getting these companies organ- 
ized. They and some other patriotic citizens pledged their 
credit to furnish them at once with simple uniforms, blue 
blouses and military caps, and to provide for their support 
until they reached the camp designated at Springfield. Our 
ladies worked day and night for their outfit. 

The same day the Governor issued his proclamation, he 
telegraphed me to come up at once, as he wanted to have me 
with him. I stayed two or three days in Belleville until I saw 
that everything relating to volunteers, consisting mostly of 
the best part of our youth, was going on right. Arrived at 
Springfield, I was at once overwhelmed with business. For- 
tunately I found Trumbull also there. Yates was overrun 
with people about volunteers, about appointments, and with 
visitors from curiosity. He did not know how to get rid of 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 121 

them, and left really most of the important business to us. 
McClernand, a strong Democrat, but equally strong for the 
Union, came in often and gave us good counsel, particularly 
about Southern Illinois, where his influence was strong. 

Our militia for years had existed only on paper. We had 
an adjutant-general, commissary and quartermaster-general, 
some brigadier-generals and their staff, but no privates. With 
the exception of some volunteer companies in some of the 
larger cities, we had no brigades, no regiments, no battalions. 
The adjutant-generals and quartermaster-generals were 
appointed by the Governor from his friends from civil life 
anxious to have a title but perfectly ignorant of the duties of 
their office. To assist Adjutant-General Colonel Mather, the 
Governor had appointed a gentleman from Massachusetts, who 
had been a high officer in the well-organized militia of that 
State, and seemed to understand the routine business, John B. 
Wyman, afterwards colonel of the 13th Illinois, who fell in 
battle. Governor Woods volunteered his services as assist- 
ant quartermaster, but everything was at first in great con- 
fusion. It was very strangely supposed that I understood 
something about military matters. To be sure, I had been 
pretty well drilled at the University, and later on when a 
member of the national guard at Frankfort, in the manual 
exercises and also in marching. I had practiced target-shoot- 
ing, both at Frankfort and when out on the farm the first 
year I came here, and had hunted a good deal ; so that I was 
familiar with fire-arms. I was used to riding all kinds of 
horses, knew how to feed, to curry, and to saddle them, but 
that would not enable me to command a regiment or a bri- 
gade. I had always been fond of military history, had read 
the history of military campaigns, from Xenophon's Anaba- 
sis and Caesar's Gallic and Civil wars, which by the way I 
found most tedious reading, down to those of the Crimean 
War. I had always witnessed with pleasure field manoeuvres, 
had traveled distances to see them, knew the difference 
between tactics and strategy, but that was the sum and sub- 



122 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

stance of my military knowledge. Nevertheless, I was con- 
stantly appealed to, when questions of organization or dispo- 
sition of troops came up for consideration. This made me 
write by way of a joke to Sophie on the 24th of April : ' ' Kiss 
Victor and tell him that his father has become minister of 
war. ' ' 

On the 23d of April the Belleville companies came up 
to Springfield under the command of Captain Mersy, five 
large companies. They were the first that came from a dis- 
tance. Many of the boys had been members of the various 
volunteer companies that had existed from time to time at 
Belleville. A large number were or had been Turners, and 
understood marching to perfection, and some of the older men 
had been in the military service in Germany before they 
came here. Besides, some three or four days before they 
came up, they had been very actively drilled. The whole 
body in their plain but handsome uniforms looked very fine. 
One or two companies from the adjoining counties had pre- 
viously arrived, but they came in their common clothes and in 
a crowd, not understanding anything about marching. We 
had sent a band of music to the depot. Gov. Yates and myself 
and some of the State officers received them. They formed at 
once in good style, more than five hundred strong, and 
marched up to the State House like drilled soldiers. All 
Springfield was on the streets and they were welcomed with a 
most enthusiastic cheer. I wrote to Sophie : ' ' Our Belleville 
boys put the people into raptures. It was a proud sight." 

The companies were too large and a sixth one was formed 
out of them. Three companies from Alton, mostly Germans, 
joined them the next day, and, with a company from Mont- 
gomery, they concluded to form a regiment, the 9th, really 
the 3d, for, very foolishly in my opinion, the first regiment 
was called the Seventh, out of regard it was said to the six 
regiments Illinois had sent to Mexico. Of course, I could 
have been easily elected colonel of the regiment, three-fourths 
of whom were Germans, but I did not feel myself qualified to 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 123 

undertake such a responsibility. Besides, I knew I could do 
more for our common cause as a civilian than as a colonel of 
a regiment. At my instance the regiment elected E. A. Paine 
colonel. He was a West Pointer, had been in the Mexican 
War on the staff of Gen. Zachary Taylor, and was well recom- 
mended to me by Governor Yates and others. At the time 
he was a lawyer in our State. The regiment would have 
greatly preferred Captain Mersy. But Mersy had lived 
almost exclusively amongst the Germans and wrote English 
very imperfectly, and could not at the beginning at least have 
been able to represent the regiment properly before the 
higher authorities. He himself did not think that he was well 
qualified for the station. He was elected lieutenant-colonel; 
Jesse J. Phillips, now Circuit Judge Phillips, was elected 
major. It was certainly one of the best, if not the best, regi- 
ment of the three months' men. At the end of the year 
Colonel Paine was made a brigadier-general and Mersy 
became colonel, but the regiment was generally commanded 
by Phillips, one of the most dashing officers of the Union 
Army; Mersy commanding the brigade, to which the regi- 
ment belonged, through nearly all his time of service. Fritz 
Scheel, then hardly eighteen years of age, was a sergeant and 
was soon made second lieutenant. Fritz Ledergerber was a 
second lieutenant, and Henry Kircher was a non-commis- 
sioned officer during the three months' service. 

CAIRO AND ALTON OCCUPIED 

On the 30th of April the regiment was sent down to 
Cairo. A day or two after my arrival at Springfield, the 
Secretary of War, Cameron, sent a dispatch to the Governor 
of the following import: "Take possession of Grand Cairo 
at the earliest moment!" His "Grand Cairo" raised a great 
laugh, but we immediately telegraphed to General Swift, a 
brigadier-general of our militia at Chicago, (the same Mr. A. 
Swift, banker, who had lent our Adolph the money to go to 
Germany and fight for the popular rights,) to despatch at 



124 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

once what forces he could gather to Cairo, taking care to send 
a pilot engine ahead, as the secessionists in southern Illinois 
might have torn up the track or burned the bridges. 

The Governor had by this time received from respectable 
citizens letters informing him that in some of the southern 
counties the disunion feeling was very strong; that secret 
meetings had been held in the woods; and that Capt. Carter 
(who was a member of the State Senate) was organizing a 
company to go South. It was even reported that John A. 
Logan had addressed a crowd ready to join the Confederacy, 
encouraging them in their undertaking. The charge against 
General Logan, when he after some hesitation joined the 
Republican party, the war being over, was renewed by wrathy 
Democrats, and supported by affidavits, one of which, it was 
said, was made even by a brother of his. My recollection, 
however, is that Logan succeeded in clearing himself of this 
accusation, although at the time, and even some considerable 
time after Douglas had denounced secession and had prom- 
ised his support to the war, Logan was still opposing coercion 
and denouncing Douglas. 

Swift was an energetic man. Money was furnished by 
the rich Union men of Chicago at once, and in less than 
twenty-four hours after he had received the order he had 
placed at Cairo two companies of the Chicago Zouaves, an 
American company, the Turner Cadets and the Lincoln Rifles, 
(the two last made up of Germans,) and four companies of 
light artillery from Chicago, Ottawa, Lockport and Plain- 
field. A company of infantry from Jacksonville was also 
instantly dispatched. Early in May, the 8th, 10th and llth 
regiments followed to Cairo, and Brigadier-General B. Pren- 
tiss, having been elected brigadier under our old militia law, 
took command of the place. A fort was thrown up where the 
rivers meet, a battery of U. S. heavy artillery manned it, and 
Cairo remained safe during the whole of the war. 

On consultation and without waiting for orders from 
Washington, the 7th regiment was stationed at Alton and the 



OUTBREAK OF THE REBELLION 125 

12th at Caseyville on the Ohio and Mississippi Road only six 
miles east of St. Louis. I said ' ' without waiting for orders ; ' ' 
for after the "Grand Cairo order" for a week or more no 
word could be got from Washington, a secession mob at Bal- 
timore having on the 19th of April attacked a regiment from 
Massachusetts while passing in the ears through the city, hav- 
ing taken possession of the city, having cut down the telegraph 
lines leading north and west, and having burned the bridges 
on the railroad to Philadelphia and New York. Harper's 
Ferry was occupied by the secessionists and all communica- 
tions on the Baltimore and Ohio Road were interrupted. The 
Governor sent Speed Butler, the son of our Treasurer, Will- 
iam Butler, as an express to Washington. He was a discreet 
and very determined youth, made his way to Harrisburg, and 
by by-ways got into Washington, getting the necessary orders 
for arms, tents and equipments for our troops, and communi- 
cating with the President. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

Illinois Organizing 

At the time the regiments were organizing at Camp 
Yates on the Springfield Fair Grounds, about the 23d or 
24th of April, my friend E. B. Washburne came down from 
Galena in company with a gentleman, whom he introduced to 
me, (the Governor not being in the office,) as Captain Grant 
of Galena. He said that they had had a Union meeting at 
Galena, that Captain Grant, though a Douglas Democrat, had 
gone to the meeting, presided over it, and had exhorted the 
people to raise a volunteer company; that he, Washburne, 
thought, that, as the Captain had been for years in the regu- 
lar army, had been in the Mexican war, and had in the West 
acted frequently as regimental quartermaster and commis- 
sary, he might be a very useful man in these departments at 
Springfield, which he understood were filled by men who did 
not understand much of the business. 

GRANT IN SPRINGFIELD 

I must confess that Grant at that time did not look very 
prepossessing. Hardly of medium height, broad-shouldered 
and rather short-necked, his features did not indicate any 
very high grade of intellectuality. He was very indifferently 
dressed, and did not at all look like a military man. After 
awhile Governor Yates entered his private office, which had a 
separate entry. Hearing him, I took Washburne and Grant 
to Governor Yates, and went back to my desk. It was not 
long before they came out again, and Washburne looked 
rather dissatisfied. He said that the Governor had told him 
that there was no place for Captain Grant, as there were now 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 127 

sufficient assistants in the military offices, but he would con- 
sider the matter and let him know the result. I learned after- 
wards that for some reason or other there was not the best 
feeling existing between Yates and Washburne, the trouble 
having originated at Washington when both were members 
of Congress. Washburne spoke rather unkindly of Yates 
after this interview. I, on my part, thought that Captain 
Grant would be a very valuable acquisition, considering the 
confusion still existing in the war-office, and expressed myself 
to that effect. I told Washburne that I would talk plainly 
to Yates about it. And so I did. And when Captain Grant 
called next day, Governor Yates offered him an appointment 
as assistant quartermaster-general at $2.00 a day, which the 
Captain accepted. 

Captain Grant would very often drop into the office 
where I was, and, when at leisure, would smoke his little cane- 
stem pipe, the same as I did. When in a larger company, he 
was very reticent, and hardly spoke; yet, when only one was 
present, he conversed quite freely. I thought he was quite a 
good fellow for a West Pointer. Some time afterwards, in 
May, he was made commander of Camp Yates, where he 
became quite popular amongst the boys. Later on in May, 
ten new regiments of State troops were organized; and the 
one in the camp at Mattoon having become dissatisfied with 
their colonel, and having informed Governor Yates that the 
regiment which had been mustered in by Captain Grant as 
assistant adjutant-general desired to have Captain Grant 
appointed their colonel, Governor Yates issued him a com- 
mission. It was the 21st regiment. 

When, in 1883, General Grant was an invited guest of the 
Villard excursion to Oregon, on the occasion of the comple- 
tion of the Northern Pacific, a section of the party, to which 
I also belonged, was quartered for several days at the Lafay- 
ette Hotel at Lake Minnetonka. Both General Grant and I 
stopped there, and late one evening had a chat in the corridor 
of the house. We came to talk of our first meeting in Spring- 



128 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

field. He told me that when he first understood that the 
Mattoon regiment desired him to take the colonelship, he felt 
very reluctant to accept the office, and told Governor Yates 
so. He objected, because he did not want to assume the 
responsibility of commanding a regiment. But the Gover- 
nor replied that he, Grant, was certainly better qualified than 
nearly all the other colonels to whom he had issued commis- 
sions, and handed him thereupon the list of appointees. "I 
looked over it," General Grant said to me, "and I knew but 
two of the men, and these only by reputation. 'Well,' said I, 
'if these men think they can lead a regiment in the field, I 
may try my luck as well. ' ' " But, ' ' said the General to me, 
"after I was out with the boys a couple of weeks, I felt I 
could take any responsibility, however great." 

These were his very words. I was therefore astonished, 
when the General 's Memoirs came out after his death, to read, 
that he gave quite a different version of his first entry into 
the Union service. In those Memoirs he does not mention 
Washburne, who had been throughout the war his warmest 
and most effective friend, but with whom he had fallen out 
when he was a candidate for a third Presidential term, and 
of whom he spoke to me with great bitterness. He said in his 
Memoirs that he had come down to Springfield to accompany 
the Galena company, the captaincy of which he had declined, 
merely to see them mustered in; that he knew no one at 
Springfield, had seen Yates at the hotel table, had never 
been introduced to him, but that when he, Grant, was about 
to return to Galena, the Governor came to him and offered 
him the place of assistant adjutant-general. General Grant 
then very modestly says in his Memoirs that he availed him- 
self of the services of Mr. Loomis, the chief clerk, who under- 
stood the business perfectly and kept things in perfect order. 
Having returned to Galena, his business with the State being 
at an end, he wrote a letter to Adjutant-General Thomas in 
Washington, offering his services. In this letter he says that 
he felt himself competent to command a regiment. He 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 129 

received no answer. He adds, however : "I felt some reluc- 
tance in suggesting as high a rank as the colonelcy of a regi- 
ment, feeling somewhat doubtful whether I would be equal 
to the position. But I had seen nearly every colonel who 
had been mustered into the service from the State of Illinois 
and some from Indiana, and felt that if they could command 
a regiment properly and with credit, I could also." 

This discrepancy between my statement and that of the 
General regarding his first appearance in Springfield and his 
appointment, arises undoubtedly from the fact that the Gen- 
eral kept no diary, and that, after being engaged for many 
years in events of the most momentous importance, his mem- 
ory in comparatively small matters and incidents often failed 
him when he wrote his Memoirs, shortly before his death and 
while stricken with a mortal disease. 

THE SITUATION IN ST. LOUIS 

In the latter part of April a dispatch was received from 
St. Louis that the steamboats John D. Perry and C. E. 
Hillman had left that port for New Orleans with a large 
cargo of lead and also some cases of revolvers and cavalry 
accoutrements and quantities of powder. Now a very delicate 
question came up. These boats had left the port of a sister 
State under the flag of the United States and undoubtedly 
provided with proper clearance papers from the United States 
custom-house officers. There was not, nor ever could have 
been, a war between Illinois and Missouri. The boats belonged 
to well-known citizens of St. Louis, perhaps Union men, but 
bound thus far, as public carriers, to ship any goods con- 
signed to the lower ports. Trumbull, I believe, was not in 
town. I advised the stopping of the boats at Cairo upon the 
principle, as I remarked, of "silet toga inter arma. " Yates 
was equal to the occasion. There was no time to be lost. 
With Washington we were just then not in communication. 
The commanding officer at Cairo was ordered to seize the 
boats, search them for contraband of war, take it out, and 



130 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

deposit it safely at Cairo and wait for further orders. The 
order was executed. A detachment of Zouaves under Lieu- 
tenant Scott on a tug or ferry-boat, mounted with a cannon, 
steamed some miles up the river, lying in wait. "When one 
of the boats came in sight a shot was fired across the bow of 
it, which made her stop. A boat with the Lieutenant and 
some soldiers made up towards the steamer, but she was imme- 
diately run ashore and her crew took to the woods. She was 
then manned by our men and taken down to Cairo, where she 
was overhauled and large stores of lead and other warlike 
stores taken out. She then got permission to proceed. I 
think she returned to St. Louis. The other steamer, having 
got wind of what had happened to her companion, took at 
once the back track to St. Louis. 

This event created at once terrible excitement in St. 
Louis, and also in the other Border States. Even Union men 
in those States and in the Free States denounced the act as a 
high handed one against a sister State. It must be recollected 
that during the first months of the war a great confusion of 
ideas prevailed concerning the status of the two belligerents. 
Kentucky for several months claimed neutrality. The rebel 
Governor of Missouri, C. F. Jackson, was treating in St. Louis 
with some prominent Union men for some sort of neutrality 
for that State. But the clamor soon ceased when far bigger 
events loomed up. The act of the Governor of Illinois after 
awhile was not only approved by the Secretary of War, but 
all communication by boat or otherwise with the rebel States 
was stopped by order of the President. 

The messenger whom we had sent to Washington brought 
back an order on the commander of the Arsenal in St. Louis 
for 10,000 stands of arms. Our own State Arsenal contained 
no more than about 600 muskets and rifles of various patterns. 
But the trouble was how to get the arms. The condition of 
things was alarming in St. Louis. The Governor of Missouri 
had in the most insolent manner refused to comply with the 
President's proclamation to furnish the quota of militia for 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 131 

his State. The Legislature at Jefferson City was by a large 
majority in favor of secession. Under the State militia law 
the Governor had ordered a camp of instruction to be held 
at St. Louis. A few battalions had already repaired to the 
camp, called Camp Jackson. The streets in the camp were 
named Jefferson Davis, General Beauregard, etc., etc. Most 
all of the men, and their commander, General Frost, were 
disunion men. But, besides that, a league of citizens in St. 
Louis had been organized, calling itself "friends of the Con- 
stitution," and in the various wards disunion assemblies were 
formed under the name of Minute Men. As Governor Jack- 
son had seized the United States Arsenal at Fayette, Mo., 
these various disunion companies had been furnished with 
arms and ammunition. On a hill in the northern part of the 
city they had erected a battery. The possession of the St. 
Louis Arsenal was in contemplation. There was only one 
small battalion of U. S. infantry at Jefferson Barracks, ten 
miles below St. Louis, and only a small detachment guarded 
the Arsenal. St. Louis, about that time, contained a popula- 
tion of some 175,000 people, two-thirds of whom may be said 
to have been either out-and-out secessionists or at least op- 
posed to making war on the rebellious States. 

The sea-port for St. Louis was New Orleans. The trade 
of the city was principally with the States of Kentucky, Ten- 
nessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Some 
of the most influential and richest men were slave-holders. 
The American merchants were deeply interested in the 
Southern trade. There being no railroads running parallel 
with the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, steamboating was 
at its height and many thousands of merchants, sailors and 
laborers depended upon that interest. The Irish population 
had always been radically Democratic, and were besides in- 
veterate enemies of the black people. It was constantly din- 
ned into their ears that the war was entered upon by the 
black Republicans to free the negroes. Fortunately there 
was already a large German element in St. Louis, which 



132 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

almost unanimously and enthusiastically stood up for the 
Union. Captain Lyon had been sent from the East, and 
took command of Jefferson Barracks and the Arsenal. In a 
few days Union regiments were formed with the approval of 
Captain Lyon. Thousands flocked to the Arsenal. It was 
Frank Blair who with his known energy and boldness took 
the first and principal part in the rising for the Union. He 
became colonel of the first regiment, made up mostly of Ger- 
mans and of personal American friends and adherents of his. 
Henry Boernstein, who, in his younger years, had been some 
time in the Austrian military service, undertook the organiza- 
tion of a second, Franz Sigel of a third, and Major Schutterer 
of a fourth regiment. At the time, however, I speak of, the 
formation and organization was going on, but was not yet 
completed. 

In order to get the arms, it was understood some prudence 
should be exercised. The owner of the regular Alton packet- 
boat was confidentially asked whether he would undertake 
to go down to the Arsenal and ship the arms on board and 
bring them to Alton. Though a strong Democrat, the owner 
said he would try to do it, even if the rebels would blow his 
boat to hell. The boat made her regular evening trip down 
to St. Louis, remained at its landing, dropped down to the 
Arsenal, got the arms aboard in a very short time, and, put- 
ting on a full head of steam, passed the city without molesta- 
tion. The boilers had been secured by bales of hay. A Ger- 
man company or two acted as escort. Captain Lyon, however, 
being still apprehensive that an attack might be made on the 
Arsenal by the Missouri militia and the city mob in such 
numbers as to overpower his forces and get possession of the 
arms, sent up 21,000 stands of arms instead of 10,000, and 
also ten guns and plenty of ammunition and accoutrements, 
retaining, however, enough for all the volunteer troops he 
could raise. We now had arms enough for our six regiments, 
with some to spare. 

This expedition and its successful result made a great 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 133 

ado at the time, and rather depressed the St. Louis secession- 
ists, who had loudly boasted that the taking of the Arsenal 
was only a question of time. When it became known that we 
had a surplus of arms, the governors of other States applied 
to Governor Yates to let them have some of them. But of 
course we could not dispose of. them at our pleasure. Soon, 
however, a very good-looking and amiable gentleman made 
his appearance in Springfield, presenting himself as an aide 
to Governor Dennison, of Ohio, and the bearer of a requisition 
from the Secretary of War on Governor Yates for 5,000 of the 
Springfield muskets. The Governor was not present, (it was 
supposed he was in Jacksonville,) and our adjutant-general 
was not willing to let the arms go without an order from the 
Governor. The messenger from Ohio, James A. Garfield, was 
very impatient to get the muskets. Cincinnati, he said, was 
greatly alarmed. They feared an invasion from the Ken- 
tuckians. I then told the adjutant-general that I would take 
the responsibility, and gave an order for the delivery in the 
name of the Governor. Garfield felt very much relieved. 
When I met him after the war on the floor of the House of 
Eepresentatives, when I had really forgotten all about the 
circumstance, he mentioned it, and said that he would always 
remember the handsome way in which I had treated him and 
helped him along in his business. 

ATTITUDE OF DOUGLAS 

Another meeting in those days of much interest was that 
with Douglas. He had left Washington on the 18th of April, 
after having called on Lincoln and told him that, though he 
was unalterably opposed to the political principles of the 
administration, he was fully prepared to sustain him in pre- 
serving the Union. Of course, the past was forgotten. In his 
fertile mind he had already laid out plans for the coming 
campaign, and in his fervid and impressive way laid them 
before us. The day after his arrival he addressed the people 
in the State House. The crowd was immense, and his patriotic 



134 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

views were loudly applauded. He had made speeches on the 
way to Springfield, and left us for Chicago, where he spoke 
to one of the largest meetings ever held there. 

Douglas's influence was of large advantage to our cause, 
as he was really the idol of the Northern Democracy. The 
counter-efforts that were made for some time by John A. 
Logan and Dan Voorhees, who denounced Douglas as having 
betrayed his party, fell dead, and Logan soon found it ad- 
visable, in order not to kill himself forever, to join the volun- 
teer army. 

WAR MESSAGE OF THE GOVERNOR 

The Legislature, in pursuance of the Governor's call, 
met in extra session on the 23d of April. Governor Yates, 
being overrun with visitors of all kinds, and overwhelmed with 
a multitude of letters, principally with reference to accept- 
ing companies for the three months' service, begged me to 
write his message to the Legislature for him. I did so. The 
original manuscript is amongst my papers, as is also the 
printed message, wherein are marked the few sentences he 
inserted, to make it look more like "Dick Yates," as he laugh- 
ingly told me. This was not an easy task. The occasion called 
for elevation of style, but, emanating from the executive of 
the State, the message had to be free from rhetorical and 
passionate utterances. I will give a few passages of the doc- 
ument. 

"To the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of 

Illinois : 

"Gentlemen: The Constitution authorizes me on extra- 
ordinary occasions to convene the Legislature in special ses- 
sion. Certainly no occasion could have arisen more extra- 
ordinary than the one now presented to us. A plan con- 
ceived by some able but misguided statesmen of the South 
for many years past, founded upon an inadmissible and 
destructive interpretation of our National Constitution, and 
considered until very recently as merely visionary, has been 
partially carried into execution by ambitious and restless 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 135 

leaders to the peril of our noble Union, of our Democratic 
institutions, and of our public and private prosperity." 

After showing briefly how utterly without reason were 
the charges made against the Federal government to justify 
secession, and after recounting the recent revolutionary and 
warlike proceedings and dwelling upon the almost too for- 
bearing and pacific policy of the Federal government, I con- 
tinued. 

"A simple attempt on the part of our Constitutional 
Government to provision a starving garrison in one of our 
forts, of which the revolutionary authorities had received 
official notice from the government, has been made the occasion 
for a destructive bombardment of that fort. Overpowered by 
numbers our gallant men had to lower our glorious flag and 
to surrender on terms dictated by rebels. 

"The spirit of a free and brave people is aroused at last. 
Upon the first call of the Constitutional Government they 
are rushing to arms. Our own noble State, as of yore, has 
responded in a voice of thunder. Party distinctions have 
vanished in one night as if by magic. Men of all parties vie 
with each other in devotion to the country. The services 
already rendered me in my efforts to organize troops, provide 
means, arms and provisions, by distinguished members of the 
party hitherto opposed to me in political sentiments, are be- 
yond all praise and are by me on behalf of the State most 
cheerfully acknowledged. There are now more companies 
received than are needed under the Presidential call, and 
almost an unlimited number are formed waiting further or- 
ders. Nearly a million of money has been offered to the 
State as a loan by our patriotic capitalists and other private 
citizens to pay the expenses connected with the raising of our 
State troops and temporarily providing for them. 

"Civil war, it must be confessed, is one of the greatest 
calamities that can befall a people. Would that the calamity 
could be averted ! But the destruction of our government is 
a far greater evil." 

In the printed message the following passage is inserted 
by the Governor: 

" And such a war! It is said, when Greek meets Greek, 
then comes the tug of war. When American shall meet 



136 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

American, when the fiery impetus of the South shall come 
into contact with the cool, determined bravery of the North, 
then blood will flow to the horses' bridles." 

Other insertions of the Governor are of the same florid 
character, so foreign to my style of writing. I give this merely 
as one instance. But the responsibility was on him, not on 
me, though in the State House circles it was no secret who 
was the author of the message. I also called the attention of 
the Legislature to the embarrassing condition that the Gov- 
ernor found himself in on account of the entirely disorganized 
state of our militia force. The militia law, itself an old legis- 
lative relic as it stood, was wholly inappropriate to modern 
times and had become obsolete, wherefore I recommended 
the speedy enactment of a new militia law, recognizing the 
principle of volunteering as one of its most leading features. 
"Such a law," the message said, "ought to be plain and in- 
telligible, as well as concise and comprehensive. It ought to 
provide for many emergencies and future contingencies, and 
not for the present moment alone." 

Being by no means as sanguine of a speedy triumph of 
our cause as most men, even our most prominent members of 
the Federal administration at Washington, I thought it right 
to foreshadow a less hopeful future. So the message goes on 
to say: 

"I trust that our conflict will not be a protracted one, 
but, if unfortunately it should be, we may well expect that 
what now is done by enthusiasm and in the first effervescence 
of popular excitement, may hereafter have to be done by a 
stern sense of duty to be regulated by an equally stern law. 
Trials may come which can only be met by endurance and 
patient performance of prescribed duty." 

After recommending some necessary financial and other 
measures, the message concluded as follows: 

"I commend the destiny of our noble and gallant State 
in this, its hour of peril, to your wise and patriotic delibera- 
tions and prudent deliberations. May the God of our Fathers 
who led them through many and serious trials to a glorious 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 137 

triumph and who gave them strength to build up our sacred 
Union and to frame a government which has been the center 
of our affections and the admiration of the world, still be with 
us and preserve our country from destruction. (Here Yates 
had inserted a stirring rhetorical sentence, but the original is 
as above.) 

I concluded as follows, and Yates made no alterations : 

' ' In the firm belief that we are in the hands of a Supreme 
Ruling Power, whose will is wisdom, let us manfully sustain 
our rights and our Constitution and Union to the last extrem- 
ity. Let us so act that our children, and children's children, 
when we are laid in the dust, will hold us in grateful remem- 
brance and will bless our memories of the heroes and patriots 
who achieved our Independence and transmitted to us the 
priceless heritage of American liberty." 

WAR SESSION OF THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE 

It was evident that the session of the Legislature would 
be a short one. Several of the members were already officers 
in the regiments. Others were desirous of entering the State 
military service, as recommended in the Governor's message; 
still others, interested in commercial and industrial pursuits, 
were anxious to return to their business at home, as a financial 
crisis was necessarily to be expected upon the outbreak of 
war. A great many banks had deposited, as security for their 
circulation, Southern bonds, before always considered per- 
fectly good, but of course now almost valueless. Anticipating 
the desire of many members to remain in session as short a 
time as possible, it was thought that the Executive should 
take the initiative in legislation and not leave it to the usual 
unsystematic action of single members, who would crowd in 
a number of bills, each perhaps with the same object but 
in a multitude of shapes and with individual idiosyncrasies. 
A few days before, at the commencement of the session, all the 
bills thought necessary for the occasion were prepared in the 
Governor's office, and the Chairmen of the Committees on 
Military Affairs, on Finance, and on Judiciary, were called 
in, the bills at once submitted to them, their opinions taken, 



138 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

and the amendments suggested by them adopted. Having 
agreed on all points, they on their part laid them before their 
committees, got them approved, reported them at once to their 
respective houses, where with very little opposition they 
passed under suspension of rules in a few days. No buncombe 
resolutions were discussed or passed, and in ten days the 
Legislature adjourned. By one law the organization of the 
six regiments was provided for in detail ; by another entitled 
"An act to prepare the State of Illinois to protect its own 
territory, repel invasion, and render efficient and prompt aid 
to the United States, when demanded," ten regiments of 
infantry, one battalion of artillery, and one regiment of cav- 
alry were authorized to be raised, one in each Congressional dis- 
trict, which were to repair to the camps of instruction for thir- 
ty days and to be ready to enter the United States service in 
case of a new call for soldiers being made on the State. By an- 
other law the militia of the State was organized upon an effec- 
tive plan, dividing it into active or voluntary or reserve classes. 
A war-fund, by the issue of bonds for two millions, was pro- 
vided for, and a commission created to audit and certify all 
accounts for supplies and munitions of war, clothing, etc., 
furnished for Illinois troops, and all accounts in any manner 
accruing for organizing the troops under the call of the Pres- 
ident for volunteers. A severe law to prevent the giving of 
aid to the enemies of the United States, and also one against 
the obstruction of transportation of troops or military stores, 
were enacted, inflicting heavy penalties upon the offenders. 
Another law provided for the establishment of powder-mag- 
azines, for the purchase of arms, and still another to prevent 
the use of telegraph for illegal and revolutionary purposes. 

It will be readily understood what amount of labor de- 
volved, during these days, upon the Governor and upon those 
whom he had called to his assistance. 

In a letter to Sophie on the 24th of April, I said : ' ' Trum- 
bull and myself are the confidential advisers of Yates and 
have to direct him with everything. Many nights I have not 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 139 

gone to bed before two o 'clock in the morning. ' ' I acted dur- 
ing this time and for many weeks afterwards as a volunteer. 
I held no office, and claimed and received no remuneration. 

SENT AS REPRESENTATIVE TO THE GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE AT 

CLEVELAND 

On the first of May, Governor Yates insisted on my ac- 
companying him to Cleveland, where a meeting of the Gov- 
ernors of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Mich- 
igan, Indiana, and Illinois was to take place, to consult on 
some kind of joint action, in order most effectually to sustain 
the Washington Government just then supposed to be very 
much in need of material and moral support. When the time 
came for parting, Yates pleaded the necessity of remaining 
at Springfield, as he had to approve the bills just then being 
passed at railroad speed, (the Legislature having fixed its 
adjournment for the third of May,) and invested me with 
authority to represent him, giving me carte blanche to act as 
I thought best. 

I left late in the evening of the first of May, and was due 
at Cleveland in the afternoon of the second. But about one 
hundred miles east of Springfield near the State line, we were 
delayed some six hours by the wreck of a large freight train. 
I missed the connection at Toledo for Cleveland, and had to 
stay all night there ; so that I reached Cleveland only by din- 
ner time of the third of May. 

The first thing I there learned was, that the meeting had 
already adjourned an hour before, and that most of the mem- 
bers had left or were on the point of leaving. Governor Den- 
nison, of Ohio, was still there, and he gave me a brief relation 
of what had been done and told me to come along with him 
to Columbus, where he would write out a memorandum of 
their action. They all had arrived on the second in the after- 
noon, had at once held a preliminary meeting that evening, 
and that morning had merely reduced to writing what they 
had agreed upon the night before. 



I was much disappointed, not that I thought I could have 
had any particular influence on their deliberations; yet I 
wanted to tell them of the spirit that prevailed in Illinois. 
And I was also anxious to make the acquaintance of so many 
prominent Republicans. Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania, 
Governor Morton of Indiana, Governor Randall of Wisconsin, 
and Governor Blair of Michigan, had been present. John 
Bigelow, who represented Governor Morgan of New York, 
and George B. McClellan, who had been appointed by Gov- 
ernor Dennison, major-general of all the militia of Ohio, had 
also attended this gathering. 

As the train for Columbus did not leave until late in the 
evening, I went out to the great camp which had been estab- 
lished at the west end of the beautiful Euclid Avenue. There 
were already some three or four thousand volunteers there, 
organized into regiments. Some of them had been in militia 
companies before this, wore their nice and somewhat fan- 
tastic uniforms, and were well drilled. Towards evening they 
had a dress parade, and thousands of people had come out, 
a good part being ladies. Great enthusiasm prevailed. There 
was singing of patriotic songs ; the musical bands played ; and 
the sutlers' tents were well patronized. It was the honey- 
moon of the war. 

At Columbus the next morning I called at Governor 
Dennison 's house, it being Sunday. He showed me a copy 
of a memorial which was to be delivered to the President. 
The conference recommended, in the first place, the erection 
of a Department of the West, including even the western part 
of Pennsylvania ; secondly, the establishment of uniform rules 
as to the stopping of supplies to the South ; thirdly, the making 
of the West, on the Ohio and Mississippi, the base of opera- 
tions; fourthly, the pursuance of a vigorous war policy, the 
troops to be moved at once and kept in action, and West Vir- 
ginia to be made a field for military operations. Bigelow and 
Governor Curtin were deputed to lay the result of the delib- 
erations of the conference before the President. 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 141 

Governor Dennison took occasion to express to me his 
great satisfaction at the promptness with which his request 
for arms was complied with by Illinois. He appeared to me 
a very pleasant, calm and sensible man, who, while he had his 
heart in the cause, was not demonstrative. I thought at the 
time that he was perhaps not as resolute and energetic as the 
occasion required. But I believe he gave great satisfaction 
while he was Governor. On the resignation of Montgomery 
Blair as Postmaster-General, he was appointed in his place by 
President Lincoln. 

Governor Dennison advised me on my return to call on 
Governor Morton at Indianapolis. I did so. I found Gov- 
ernor Morton in his office, head over ears in business. Before 
him on a table were spread letters and all sorts of papers. 
The secretaries were busy writing near him at their desks, and 
handed him papers to sign. Messenger boys brought him tel- 
egrams; visitors on business crowded around him. Still, I 
managed to have twenty minutes' private conversation with 
him, giving him an account of what we were doing in Illinois 
and of the condition of affairs in St. Louis. He was pretty 
severe on the administration at Washington. Morton's per- 
sonality was striking. He was then in robust health, pretty 
strongly built, of a rather darkish complexion, and of regular 
but energetic features, and resolute in speech; one felt at 
once that he was the right man in the right place. At a later 
period, while in the Senate, he was a very leading member, 
and, I believe, exercised more influence over Grant for good 
and bad than any other man. The opposition used to call him 
Grant's evil genius. At the time of my first meeting with 
Morton I formed a very high opinion of him, and, as far as 
mental power is concerned, I have never changed it. 

I returned to Springfield on the 6th of May and made my 
report. 

MISSION TO ST. LOUIS 

Prior to my departure for Cleveland, with a view to 
the condition of affairs in Missouri, the Seventh regiment. Col. 



142 

John Cook commanding, (the first organized for the present 
war,) had been ordered to occupy Alton; the twelfth regi- 
ment, Col. McArthur commanding, had been sent to Casey- 
ville; and the State regiment for the eighth Congressional 
district, about to be organized under the Ten Regiment Law, 
then passing the Legislature, was to have been encamped at 
Belleville. 

Governor Yates informed me that he had just received 
a highly confidential communication from St. Louis that 
Captain Lyon was about executing some plan, that he would 
like to know whether in certain contingencies he might rely 
on some assistance from our State, and would like to have the 
Governor despatch some trustworthy person to consult with 
him and concert measures. Governor Yates asked me to go 
down and learn from Captain Lyon in what way he could be 
of service to him. He authorized me to enter into any ar- 
rangement I thought practicable and not injurious to our 
State. So without going first to Belleville, I went to the 
Arsenal at St. Louis, called first on Col. Frank Blair, who was 
Lyon's confidential adviser, and he at once went over with 
me to Lyon's quarters and introduced me to the Captain. 
Yates had given me a letter to him, in which it was stated 
that I had authority to make arrangements to the extent in- 
dicated to me. 

The Captain was rather reticent, spoke indefinitely, only 
inquired about the location of our troops, how near they 
were to St. Louis, and seemed to be well satisfied when I 
told him the Alton regiment could be sent down to Illinois- 
town in two hours by boat, by rail in one, and the Caseyville 
regiment in twenty minutes. He referred me to Colonel 
Blair who had, he said, full authority to act in this matter. 
Now Blair, without telling me anything in particular, nor 
mentioning any time, gave me to understand that they in- 
tended breaking up Camp Jackson in the western part of the 
city, where some battalions of State militia had been con- 
centrated by the secessionist Governor; that there would be 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 143 

little trouble about effecting this part of the plan, but that he 
did not know whether this might not occasion a general rising 
of the secession mob in St. Louis, the extent of which no one 
could foresee. The Union men might be met by an over- 
whelming force, and, in that case, help from Illinois might be 
extremely welcome. 

I told him that Illinois was most deeply interested in 
keeping Missouri in line, and that anything done toward de- 
fending the Union government in Missouri would be defend- 
ing the State of Illinois ; that I could pledge Governor Yates 
for sending all available troops to the assistance of Captain 
Lyon, without waiting for orders from Washington, in case 
of an emergency; that if Governor Yates should receive a 
despatch calling for help, he would at once order the Alton 
and Caseyville regiments to St. Louis; there were already, 
as I understood, some five or six companies of the State troops 
at Belleville, that the regiment would be full in a few days, 
and that I would take the responsibility of bringing them 
over, as they would like nothing better than to have a fight. 
But I ought to know, I told Colonel Blair, about the time the 
requisition would probably be made, as transportation for 
the troops had to be provided for. He said, within a few days, 
if at all, the plan was to be carried out. 

I then went to Mr. Bacon, the superintendent, or presi- 
dent or vice-president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, 
a thorough Union man, to whom, as Blair told me, I might 
to a certain extent, confide the matter. I, however, merely 
told Mr. Bacon that the Governor of Illinois in a few days 
wanted to change the location of the Caseyville regiment to 
Illinoistown and that I was authorized to tell him to keep a 
sufficient number of platform cars and a locomotive there to 
take the regiment at a moment 's notice. He seemed to under- 
stand the matter, for he volunteered to have cars ready also 
at Sandoval, so that any other regiments on the Illinois 
Central road could be sent down there, to be taken by the 
Ohio and Mississippi to Illinoistown. 



144 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

When I saw Captain Lyon at the Arsenal he was, of 
course, not much known outside of military circles. Within 
the last six months I had become acquainted with so many 
interesting and prominent persons, that, when introduced to 
him, my observation was merely a superficial one. I could 
hardly give a slight description of his person. My general 
impression was, that, while there was very little military air 
about him, he was an earnest and energetic man of few words. 

DEATH OF MRS. THEODORE ENGELMANN, AND MARRIAGE OF MARY 

KOERNER 

I now returned to Belleville, where I soon was engaged 
in business relating to public events. Before I refer to them, 
however, some occurrences will have to be noted concerning 
my private life. On the last day of January, while I was at 
Springfield, Mrs. Engelmann, our beloved grandmother, be- 
ing about eighty years of age, died after a short illness. I 
have spoken of her before. She retained her mental faculties 
to the very last, and still formed a center for her very large 
family of children and other relations. Beloved by all for 
the sweetness of her temper, the kindness of her heart, and 
her bright and vivacious mind, her loss was deeply felt. 

Our Mary, for some time past, had been engaged to her 
second cousin, Henry Engelmann, the geologist and mineral- 
ogist, with our entire approbation. He was a most upright 
and honorable young man, and very proficient in his pro- 
fession. He had been occupied in preparing a geological and 
mineralogical paper as part of the report submitted by Gen. 
Albert S. Johnston concerning the expedition in which he had 
taken part, and had spent the fall and part of the winter of 
1860 at Washington completing it and supervising its printing. 
The term of the State Geologist, Mr. Worthen, and of the as- 
sistant geologist, had expired at the end of the year, and 
Governor Yates, in May, 1861, had appointed Henry assist- 
ant State Geologist. Southern Illinois was assigned to him 
as his field of labor in the geological survey, and he immedi- 
ately went to work there. Having now obtained a more per- 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 145 

manent position, he was married to our Mary on the 2nd of 
August, 1861, at our house at Belleville, but had to make his 
residence not long after at Springfield, where the State office 
was. 

GRANT IN BELLEVILLE 

I found Belleville all alive. The Fair Grounds had been 
converted into a soldiers' grounds. Two companies from 
Belleville and one from Monroe were already there ; two more 
from Clinton and one from Washington arrived a day or two 
after my return. The fact is, the ten State regiments had been 
filled up almost in the twinkling of an eye. Twice the num- 
ber of companies had been formed under the President's first 
call as were required to make up the quota of the State, and 
so most of those that were rejected were still at their respective 
places of rendezvous; for, the Governor having recommended 
in his message the formation of ten regiments of State troops, 
there was no doubt the Legislature would at once pass a law 
to organize them. Joe Kircher and Henry Goedeking had 
been appointed by Governor Yates, an old friend of these 
gentlemen, commissioners to provide the regiments with camp- 
equipage, with the usual rations, blankets, etc. They raised 
the money on their own credit, and were anxious to know how 
to keep the proper books and to procure the necessary vouch- 
ers for their outlays, and had written to the Governor to send 
some officer down to see whether they had pursued the proper 
course thus far. On the 8th or 9th of May, Captain Grant 
called at my office, as I was the only one he knew in Belleville, 
and asked me to take him to Messrs. Goedeking and Kircher, 
the Governor having sent him down to give them the proper 
instructions. I went with him, and, after he had been an 
hour or so with them in their office, he joined me again, telling 
me that he had found everything in "apple pie order," and 
that they would have no trouble in having their accounts 
passed by the Board of Auditors at Springfield. I invited 
him to go down to the camp, which had been named Camp 
Koerner (the camp at Caseyville went by the name of Camp 



146 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Bissell). The boys were drilling. Some companies appeared 
already quite soldier-like. I introduced Captain Grant to the 
officers already elected, and, it being about dinner-time, we 
took a soldier 's dinner in the officers ' mess ; and, as the Belle- 
ville citizens had sent in wine and beer in very liberal quanti- 
ties, we had quite a good time amongst the boys. On going 
back to my office, Captain Grant told me on the way, that he 
would like to visit Caseyville, where Colonel Arthur's regi- 
ment was encamped, as Arthur was an old acquaintance of 
his from Galena. I told him it was only six or seven miles 
off, but he would have to take a buggy to get there. "That 
is all very well, ' ' Captain Grant said ; ' ' I have passes for my 
railroad transportation, but I don't have any money to pay 
for a buggy." "0, never mind," I said, "I have a buggy 
and horse, and will ask some friend to drive you there. ' ' Just 
at that moment, Hermann G. Weber, who was then, I believe, 
county-assessor, was riding in his buggy over the public 
square. I hailed him, and asked him whether he was engaged 
this afternoon. He replied in the negative. I told him that 
this was Captain Grant, Assistant Adjutant-General from 
Springfield, who had been here on business and who wanted 
to go to Caseyville, and that if he was at leisure he might take 
him there. Weber said he would do it with a great deal of 
pleasure, so Captain Grant got into Weber's buggy and left 
Belleville with Weber. 

I did not see him from that time until the war was over. 
In his Memoirs General Grant says he went to Belleville to 
muster in a regiment, but, as there were only a few companies 
on hand, he went to St. Louis. His memory has failed him. 
No mustering in took place except when a full regiment, 
or at least a battalion, had been reported to Springfield, and 
as no such report had been made, he could not have been sent 
on that errand. 

CAMP JACKSON TAKEN 

On the 9th of May, I got a confidential communication of 
what was to take place in St. Louis on the following day. I 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 147 

immediately went down to the camp and told Captain Dough- 
erty, who, as the oldest captain, commanded the men, to have 
all the companies then in camp ready to be transported to 
St. Louis, where they would be armed and might be needed. 
Being the attorney of the Belleville and Illinoistown road, I 
ordered a number of platform-cars to be ready next morning 
for the transportation of troops. The Fair Grounds were right 
alongside the railroad. I gave Captain Dougherty, who was 
afterwards elected colonel of the regiment (22d 111. Infantry), 
no details. Yet he seemed to be much elated at the prospect 
of having a possible brush. 

On the next day, May 10th, Camp Jackson was taken. 
It was a complete surprise. The Union forces surrounded the 
Camp on all sides and in such numbers that General Frost 
surrendered, and his troops were taken to the Arsenal as 
prisoners. With few exceptions they took the loyalty oath 
and were paroled. On marching back with the prisoners, one 
Union regiment was attacked by a mob; rocks were thrown, 
and some pistol shots fired, by which the captain of one com- 
pany was killed. Without orders the company fired into the 
crowd, and some persons were killed and wounded, amongst 
them, as often happens on such occasions, peaceable people 
who were there from curiosity merely. Yet there could be no 
blame on those who fired, as they had acted clearly in self- 
defence. Of course, there was great excitement in the city; 
but the mob found out that the secession business was more 
dangerous than they thought it was. A few collisions between 
soldiers and rowdies happened a few days afterwards, but the 
peace of St. Louis from that time on remained undisturbed. 

EQUIPPING VOLUNTEER TROOPS 

The State regiment at Belleville kept me pretty busy, 
as also did a considerable correspondence, arising from the 
fact that Colonels Frank Blair, Henry Boernstein and Franz 
Sigel had issued an address to the loyal people of the United 
States generally, in which they stated, that the Governor of 



148 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Missouri, having refused to furnish troops to the general 
government, volunteers had organized at St. Louis for the 
defense of the Union, and that for the present they had no 
means to clothe and feed the regiments already formed ex- 
cept by voluntary contributions. They therefore called upon 
the people of the loyal States to assist the loyal citizens of St. 
Louis in supporting the Union forces, and without my knowl- 
edge I was named as one of a committee of three to receive 
and distribute the donations of money or other useful articles 
for the soldiers. Of course, I could not refuse. But it gave 
me a great deal of trouble. I was written to by gentlemen 
from New York, Boston, and Philadelphia for information as 
to what would be most needed. From others I received at once 
money-checks. I advised my correspondents to send all 
clothing at once to the commandant of the Arsenal and the 
money tc the St. Louis member of the committee, and in this 
wise I was somewhat relieved from the task. The volunteers 
were also very soon mustered into the United States service 
as independent regiments and were taken care of by the gov- 
ernment. 

DEATH OP DOUGLAS 

Having been called again to Springfield, I was there 
when the news was received of Senator Douglas's death at 
Chicago on the third of June. A meeting of the citizens of 
Belleville was called to express their sentiments of regret at 
this unexpected event, and a delegation appointed to attend 
the funeral. Having been selected as one of the deputation, 
I went to Chicago. The whole city was in mourning. Nearly 
all the houses in the principal streets and all the public build- 
ings were draped in black. Most all the stores were closed for 
the three days that the body lay in state ; so were the theatres, 
and all other places of amusement. I think there was really 
amongst most of the people a very heartfelt regret at the 
Senator's decease just at a time when he had re-endeared 
himself to so many who had to oppose him on principle for 
the three past years. A society was formed at once to bring 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 149 

about the erection of a suitable monument to the departed 
statesman, and I was made a member of the executive com- 
mittee. But the war intervened, and many years elapsed be- 
fore the present monument on the lake shore was finally 
erected and dedicated. From what Douglas had told us at 
Springfield, we had inferred that Douglas would have liked 
to take a place in the army, and, judging from the fact that 
some of the lawyer-generals, such as John M. Palmer, John 
A. Logan, Frank Blair, John A. McClernand, James A. Gar- 
field, Walter Gresham, John C. Breckenridge, made quite good 
generals, there is no telling what Douglas might have ac- 
complished as a soldier. Had he died two months sooner, his 
name would not have shone as bright in the remembrance of 
the American people as it now does. 

PRESENTS COLORS TO THE BELLEVILLE REGIMENT 

On my return from Chicago, I presented a regimental 
flag to the regiment of Belleville from the steps of the court 
house. I took a particular interest in this, because I knew 
nearly all the officers and a great many of the privates, who 
had come from St. Clair and the adjoining counties belonging 
to the judicial circuit in which I had practiced so long and 
had presided as judge. This 22d regiment very soon had a 
hard experience. It formed part of the troops which in No- 
vember fought that unfortunate battle at Belmont, which was 
as foolishly conceived as it was miserably conducted. Our 
troops behaved well enough, but lost heavily in dead, wounded 
and prisoners. Col. Henry Dougherty of the 23d was left 
on the ground severely wounded; so was Capt. Thomas Chal- 
lenor of Belleville, and both taken prisoners. The whole 
thing ended in an ignominious flight. It was utterly without 
object, and undertaken by General Grant without orders 
from the commander of the department. In any other 
country Grant would have been removed from his position at 
once. 



150 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

In speaking of Colonel Dougherty I was reminded of him. 
not long ago at the reunion of soldiers held at Belleville for 
Southern Illinois, September, 1889. At the Fair Grounds 
where the old soldiers were encamped, the same where the 
22d regiment had encamped in 1861, some veterans asked 
me to come to the headquarters of that regiment to see a 
certain lady. I went there and was introduced to a very 
matron-like woman, well but plainly dressed, who was no one 
else than the widow of Colonel Dougherty. She said she 
wanted to see me very much. She had been present when I 
presented the colors to her husband, and had heard my speech 
and the reply of her husband. "0," said she, with tears in her 
eyes, "my poor husband had to lose his leg at Belmont, at 
that unnecessary butchery brought about by the folly of the 
commander." She was much moved and so was I, as she 
brought home to me memorable events of auld lang syne. 

FURTHER INCIDENTS 

I frequently went over to the Arsenal. I found Fred 
Hecker there with his little son Arthur. He had insisted on 
being taken into Sigel's regiment as a private, and he was 
actually doing a private soldier's duty. It was one of his 
eccentric ideas. He was then over fifty years of age. Arthur 
got quite sick, dangerously so. But very soon Hecker re- 
ceived news that his friends in Chicago had obtained authority 
from the government to raise an independent regiment, and 
that the regiment would elect him colonel. He seemed to 
hesitate at first, but finally went to Chicago. The regiment 
was named the "Hecker Regiment," though its official desig- 
nation was the "24th Illinois Infantry." Before his reg- 
iment was fully organized, it was ordered to Upper Alton, 
where a camp of instruction under the orders of General 
Pope had been established. In order to show that there every- 
thing was not so bright and smooth in this rapid organization 
of forces, I will quote some passages from a letter I received 
from Hecker, dated Alton, May 21, 1861. 



ILLINOIS ORGANIZING 151 

"My dear Friend: 

When we saw one another last, and you advised me 
to accept of the regiment, and promised me your support, I 
did not think that I should have to trouble you so soon. 
"When I came to take charge of the regiment I found out that 
the whole thing was a humbug, by which the President and 
myself were duped. I found officers in great numbers, but 
few privates. Like a condottiero, I had to begin with recruit- 
ing and found a great deal of opposition. I was ordered, with 
the six companies gotten up, to this place. In vain I have 
appealed to the Governor for tents, arms, rations, etc., etc., 
while the American regiments are provided with everything. 
I could not even get permission to put my men into the old 
penitentiary building. Not even for the sick could I get a 
proper place to put them. I would like for you, before go- 
ing to Springfield, to visit me here in camp. I would tell 
you many things which I have no time to write, for what I 
have had to undergo the last fortnight can hardly be imag- 
ined." 

Some allowance must be made for Hecker's impatient 
character. When a few days afterwards I went to his camp, 
tents had been received, and there was no lack of rations, and 
Hecker as well as his men seemed to be in good spirits. I 
spent nearly a day amongst them. As I had many friends 
in the other regiments, I saw a good many of them, and found 
that they complained as much of neglect as Hecker did. To 
raise armies of hundreds of thousands of men out of nothing 
was a most gigantic task, and no people but the American, 
where the smallest community in case of emergency acts for 
itself upon its own good sense and without waiting for orders 
from high authority and brings order out of chaos, could have 
accomplished it. 

But Hecker was not alone in complaining to me. On the 
23d of June, Lieutenant-Colonel Mersy wrote me from Camp 
Defiance (Cairo), a letter in which he asked me to come down 
as soon as possible. "Col. Paine," he wrote, "was not the 
right man ; he was an old fogy, a martinet, and was constantly 
electioneering. Gen. Prentiss," Mersy wrote further, "has 
promised the men, that, if they will enter the three years' ser- 



152 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

vice, they can reorganize and elect new officers, and now the 
damned electioneering business begins again, and with that 
everything goes to the devil." He complained also about 
the treatment of the Germans in the American regiments. 
"Now, when the electioneering is going on, the Germans are 
called the best soldiers, the best drilled and disciplined men; 
but, previous to that, they were constantly neglected. If it 
is in any way possible, dear Koerner, come down quick. The 
boys are all in good plight. ' ' 

By this time Colonel Fremont, who at the outbreak of 
the Rebellion was at Paris, had returned to the United States 
and offered his services to the government. There was a 
great desire here in the West to have him appointed com- 
mander of the Western Department. General Harney, who 
had filled the post, though a Union man, was suspected by 
some of being not quite in unison with the popular feeling, 
being a slaveholder and a Virginian by birth. This was un- 
just, as I knew personally ; but he was very old and of course 
not as ardent and enthusiastic as Lyon or Blair, and the 
Western Republicans generally. Lyon temporarily had taken 
his place. Efforts were making for Fremont. Governor Yates 
and the State officers, as also a great many Missourians, 
wished me to go to Washington and see the President and 
to use my best endeavors to bring about the appointment of 
Fremont. The Germans were also anxious to have Sigel made 
a brigadier-general and to have the German regiments of Mis- 
souri placed under his command. Charged with many other 
commissions, I started for Washington, where I arrived on 
the 5th of July. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

The City of Washington in 1861 

The city was full of troops. I was informed, that on the 
4th there had been grand parades in the city and adjoining 
camps, fifty thousand men being out. Opposite to my hotel 
a row of houses was occupied by a New York Zouave regi- 
ment. Another regiment was camped on the Capitol grounds. 
On Arlington Heights were several regiments, amongst others 
the 'much vaunted 7th New York volunteer regiment, said to 
be worth in the aggregate five millions of dollars. They 
looked very stylish ; but I doubted much whether they would 
fight as well as they looked. They were a great attraction to 
the ladies, who thronged their camp. One of the finest regi- 
ments I saw was on the grounds of the German Sharpshooters ' 
Society. It was the German regiment of Colonel Von Gilsa. 
They looked like regulars. 

INTERVIEW WITH LINCOLN 

On the 9th I wrote to Sophie that the heat was excessive, 
but that I was well. Among other things I said : 

"Yates has also arrived here, and several other Illinois- 
ans. Hecker and another colonel from Illinois came here yes- 
terday to get an order for arms, in which they succeeded. I 
had a long conversation with Lincoln about a great many 
things. He was exceedingly kind and explained a great many 
things which however were not altogether new to me. I posi- 
tively declared that I would not accept the appointment of 
brigadier-general, and gave him my reasons. Colonels Turner 
and Hecker, as soon as they arrived, and before I knew that 
they were in Washington, had been to see Mr. Lincoln and had 
demanded my appointment as brigadier-general, receiving 



154 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

from him the reply that I did not wish to have the place and 
that I had positively refused it. This rather singular inci- 
dent was however quite agreeable to me, since I have now wit- 
nesses that I have refused this place, as I have several others. 
Thou knowest that the people, which cannot at all conceive 
that one does not grab at anything one can get, will not believe 
me, when I assert that I have no desire for place and have 
gone so far as to refuse one. On last Sunday evening in com- 
pany with some of the gentlemen from Illinois I was for three 
hours with Mr. Lincoln, when we discussed the events of the 
day, and where I learned a great many things ; for Lincoln is 
naively open-hearted. ' ' 

THE SITUATION AT THE FRONT 

I visited the forts already erected and in course of erec- 
tion south and west of Washington. Some of them were 
already mounted with guns of the heaviest calibre. To my 
unmilitary eye it appeared that the capital could easily be 
defended by a few thousand men against a coup de main of 
the Confederates. Under this impression I could not under- 
stand during the course of the war the extreme fear of the mil- 
itary authorities for Washington. They seemed to have enter- 
tained the idea that the rebel forces could easily take the city. 
It was this anxiety which kept a large force away from the 
active battlefields to cover Washington, thereby producing 
rather unfortunate results. 

In company with a friend I visited Alexandria about 
seven miles south of Washington. It required, however, a 
permit to cross over into Virginia, which, of course, I had no 
difficulty in obtaining. I have it now before me and as a 
curiosity I will transcribe it. 

" Headquarters, Military Department, 

Washington, July 9, 1861. 

"Pass Governor Koerner two days over the bridge and 
within the lines. By order of General Mansfield, Commanding. 

' ' ( Signed ) Drake DeKay, Aide-de-camp. ' ' 
Endorsed on back: 

"It is understood that the within named and subscribed 
accepts this pass on his word of honor that he is and will be 



WASHINGTON IN 1861 155 

ever loyal to the United States ; and if hereafter found in arms 
against the Union or in any way aiding her enemies, penalty 
will be death. 

11 (Signed) G. Koerner." 

After crossing the long bridge over the Potomac we 
arrived at an earthwork and a camp of soldiers. An officer 
examined our pass and we went on; passing, on our way to 
Alexandria, numerous camps of Union soldiers. Alexandria 
for some considerable time past must have appeared to a mod- 
ern eye as a very antiquated, quaint city. The houses of brick 
and stone were of ancient architecture. Many of them how- 
ever seemed to have been the abode of wealth and pride. At 
the present time it wore a sad look of desolation. A great 
many dwelling houses and stores were shut up. Nearly all 
the wealthy and well-to-do people had fled when the Union 
army had taken possession of the place. Commerce and trade, 
which had heretofore been pretty brisk, were at a standstill. 
Few people were seen on the streets, and had it not been for 
a large Union army in the outskirts of the city, from which 
officers and men came occasionally into town, one would have 
thought it a deserted place. 

Of course, I attended several times both Houses of Con- 
gress, which had assembled in special session. In the House, 
as well as in the Senate, there were still some members from 
the South, some loyal, as Senator Johnson from Tennessee, 
and Representative Crittenden from Kentucky. Breckenridge 
was still in the Senate from Kentucky ; so was my friend and 
university class-mate Powell, also from Kentucky. 

I also busied myself somewhat with legislation. I drew 
up a bill, that all aliens of the age of twenty-one years who 
had enlisted or who would enlist in the army or navy of the 
United States, either in the regular or volunteer forces, and 
who had been or might be honorably discharged, should be 
admitted as citizens of the United States on petition, without 
any previous declarations of their intention to become such, 
after one year's residence in the United States previous to 



156 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

their application. My friend Mr. Arnold introduced it in the 
House and it was readily passed there and in the Senate. 

PROPOSES A BILL TO PUNISH TREASON AND SEDITION 

Having had some experience of the great difficulties the 
Union forces and the Union men generally in Missouri had 
in dealing with loose bands of guerrillas or with disloyal people 
who individually committed acts of violence against loyal men 
and destroyed bridges, telegraph wires, and obstructed rail- 
roads, I prepared very carefully a bill entitled "A Bill to 
suppress insurrection and sedition, and for other purposes." 
It provided that the commanding general of the army and the 
commanders of the several departments should have power 
within their several commands or districts of country, which 
may have been or should hereafter be declared to be in a state 
of insurrection or rebellion, to declare by proclamation the 
territory so designated or any part thereof to be in a state of 
insurrection ; that after such declaration the said commanders 
should make and publish such police rules and regulations as 
might be deemed necessary to suppress the said insurrection 
and to restore order and protect the life and property of all 
loyal citizens; that all civil authorities should be bound to 
carry said rules and regulations into effect ; but that, if from 
any cause the civil authorities should fail to execute the same, 
these rules were then to be executed and enforced by the mili- 
tary forces. It provided further, that while such a state of 
insurrection existed the operation of the writ of habeas corpus 
was to be suspended where arrests had been made by any mili- 
tary authority ; that all persons found under such a proclama- 
tion in arms against the United States or otherwise aiding or 
abetting their enemies and taken by the forces of the United 
States, should either be detained as prisoners for trial on the 
charge of treason or sedition, or might, according to the cir- 
cumstances of the case, at once be brought before a court- 
martial to be dealt with according to the rules of war in 
respect to unorganized and lawless armed bands not recog- 



WASHINGTON IN 1861 157 

nized as regular troops, or might be discharged on parole not 
to serve against the United States, nor to aid or abet their ene- 
mies or opponents ; that no death sentence pronounced by the 
respective court-martial should be executed before it had been 
submitted to the commander of the military department or the 
commanding general of the army of the United States, who 
should either approve or commute the sentence or discharge 
or pardon the person so sentenced. All paroled prisoners 
found in arms against the United States were to be court- 
martialled and sentenced to death under the afore-named con- 
ditions. All persons suspected of disloyalty were to be 
brought before the military authorities of the respective dis- 
trict and have the oath of loyalty administered to them, and, 
on refusal, such persons were to be detained as prisoners until 
quiet and peace were restored in the district where such 
arrests had been made. Finally, it provided, that, if any 
person during any insurrection or war was found destroying 
or to have destroyed any railroad tracks, rolling stock or 
machinery necessary to operate a railroad, or any bridges, 
highways, ferry-boats, or any other means of transportation 
and communication, or any telegraph office, telegraph wire 
or post, or other machinery used to operate a telegraph, with 
a view to opposing the government or aiding or abetting its 
enemies, such person should be brought before a court-martial 
and dealt with according to the rules and regulations of war 
usually adopted in such cases, and should suffer death, unless 
the court pronounced some other penalty. All such sentences 
were to be submitted for approval as in other cases. 

This bill, Senate Bill, 37th Congress, First Session, July 
17th, 1861, is amongst my papers. I submitted it first to 
Mr. Lincoln. He thought there were many good points in it, 
but that he would first have to have General Scott examine 
it ; and if the latter thought it right, he would approve of it. 
General Scott examined it, thought it proper, and even sug- 
gested an additional section, placing certain employees in the 
soldiers' camps under military rule. Senator Trumbull intro- 



158 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

duced it in the Senate, had it referred to the Judiciary Com- 
mittee, of which he was chairman, and reported it back with a 
recommendation that it should pass. It was most violently 
attacked by Breckenridge and other Southern disloyalists, and 
also by Southern Senators otherwise loyal, as by Powell of 
Kentucky, and Bayard and Salisbury of Delaware. 

It somehow or other leaked out who the real author was, 
and some Senators in their speeches denounced the bill as the 
product of one from the other side of the water who did not 
understand free institutions. Trumbull, however, put this 
to rest by asserting that it had received the approval of the 
President and even of General Scott. But by long speeches 
and by using all sorts of parliamentary tactics no final vote 
was reached before the adjournment of the special session. 
Had it passed, the numerous arbitrary arrests in the Border 
and even the loyal States, the armed collisions which took 
place even in Illinois between the loyalists and disloyalists, 
would have been avoided. The government found it neces- 
sary in the course of the war to do without law what they 
could have done under law. The loyal people took the mat- 
ter in their own hands. When they got hold of guerrillas, they 
shot them down without giving them a trial. Inferior officers 
ordered men to be executed in retaliation for murders of 
Union men committed by lawless people in their neighbor- 
hood. 

FREMONT'S APPOINTMENT 

At Mr. TrumbulPs I met Gen. Fremont. We had 
obtained what we had wished. He had been appointed major- 
general of the regular army, and the Department of the 
West, enlarged by including Illinois, Indiana and a part of 
Kentucky, was assigned to him with many extraordinary priv- 
ileges, amongst others the temporary appointment of his staff. 
Blair and myself had also succeeded in getting a brigadier- 
generalship for Colonel Sigel. The army was ordered for- 
ward to Centreville. I saw the regiments that had been sta- 
tioned in and around Washington. It was a beautiful sight. 



WASHINGTON IN 1861 159 

Some ten regiments and a park of field artillery went through 
Pennsylvania Avenue fully equipped for war. They marched 
by columns of companies filling the whole width of that wide 
street. When the Gilsa regiment turned the corner of Wil- 
lard's Hotel into the street leading to the long bridge, the line 
in making the turn was as straight as an arrow and the 
immense crowd on the sidewalks broke out into a cheering that 
made the welkin ring. I felt proud of my old countrymen. 

BATTLE OF BULL RUN 

Now it was generally expected that in a few days there 
would be a battle, as the Confederates under Beauregard held 
a strong position at Manassas on Bull Run. Although I had 
pressing business at home, I hated to leave. I wanted to be 
near where great events were to happen. I went to Lincoln 
and asked him about the prospect of a battle. He said that 
Scott had told him there would be none this side of Richmond. 
Beauregard had only about 25,000 men, and knew very well 
that our forces amounted to nearly double that number. He 
was not such a fool as to accept battle. The Confederate force 
under Johnston was in the Shenandoah Valley, kept in check 
by Patterson with a force equal to his. Richmond was 
strongly fortified, and both Beauregard and Johnston would 
retreat to that place on the advance of our troops. Lincoln 
said that Scott would have delayed the advance; but all the 
volunteers were three months' men, and their time would run 
out in a few days, in fact, some of the regiments already 
claimed their discharge. Besides, the cry, ' ' On to Richmond, ' ' 
was too powerful to be resisted. The people generally believed 
so Lincoln said that the rebels would run anyhow. 

I thought so myself. On the 18th of July I wrote to 
Sophie from Washington that I expected to leave there in a 
day or two : 

"The army has gone forward, and all is tolerably quiet. 
What I desired to do here, I have in a measure accomplished. 
My stay here was at all events interesting, and I have learned 
a good deal. I think we will have Richmond in a few days 



160 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

and that the war will hardly last longer than three months." 
[This, my opinion, would alone have prevented me from tak- 
ing a military office, if there had been no other reason.] "I 
have told Mr. Lincoln plainly that I never would accept an 
office for which I did not believe myself fully qualified. ' ' 

Of course I was very much mistaken ; but this idea of a 
speedy victory and the quick suppression of the rebellion was, 
at the time when I wrote, so general, that it impressed itself 
strongly on my mind. 

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad being in possession of the 
government for the transportation of troops and military 
operations, I had to take a roundabout way via Baltimore, 
Harrisburg and Pittsburg. Leaving Washington in the after- 
noon of Saturday the 20th of July, I reached Cincinnati on 
Sunday late in the evening. That Sunday the first battle of 
Bull Run was fought. While on the way, and not expecting 
any particular news from Washington, we learned nothing of 
interest. We stopped at Cincinnati only long enough to take 
in a new conductor and for me to take a place in the sleeping 
car which was there attached to our train. I lay down about 
ten o'clock, and was fast asleep, when some one came to my 
berth and shook me by the shoulder, waking me up. It was 
the conductor, who, being a St. Louis man, must have recog- 
nized me. "I beg your pardon Governor," he said, "but I 
thought you would like to hear the good news. We have 
lammed the 'Secesh' and they are in full retreat. The men 
in the telegraph office at the station just passed have received 
a despatch from the Cincinnati operator only a few hours ago, 
announcing a great victory of the Union Army." I was 
delighted, thanked the conductor very much, and could not 
sleep for several hours, so excited was I. Arriving in the 
morning at East St. Louis, and going down from the O. & M. 
depot to the Belleville depot, I found there several Belleville 
people who had just come across the river. They looked quite 
sober and long-faced. I was somewhat surprised, but could 
not contain myself in telling them the good news that I had 
heard in the night. They shook their heads and told me they 



WASHINGTON IN 1861 161 

had just seen extras announcing a terrible defeat of the 
Unionists. I still believed that there was some mistake about 
it. But landing at the depot in Belleville, where the tele- 
graph office was, I was shown a very full dispatch, stating 
that McDowell had vigorously attacked the Confederates, had 
driven them about noon from most of their positions, and 
that some of their troops had beaten a hasty retreat, but that 
about that time they had been strongly reinforced by Johns- 
ton 's army from the Shenandoah Valley, had renewed the bat- 
tle, and had turned the tables on the Unionists. A panic 
ensued. The Black Horse of the "Seeesh" were doing dread- 
ful work amongst the fugitives. This was a dreadful dis- 
appointment ; but such was the spirit among our people, that 
there was no despondency: everybody seemed to think that 
now we should double our exertions. 

ORGANIZING A GERMAN REGIMENT 

Immediately on my return, I conceived the plan of organ- 
izing a German brigade of at least two regiments, and of offer- 
ing them to the government under the new call for four hun- 
dred thousand men, authorized some time before Bull Run by 
act of Congress. Before I had gone to Washington, I had 
journeyed to Cairo at the instance of Colonel Mersy and staid 
there several days. I found a great deal of dissatisfaction. 
The time of the six or eight regiments then stationed at Cairo 
and in the neighborhood was expiring, and, as the President, 
even before the act of Congress, had made a call for troops 
to serve three years, the colonels and the officers generally 
were anxious to have their men reenlist, organized as they 
were. But a large number of the soldiers willing to reenlist 
for three years wanted a reorganization. The election of offi- 
cers at the first call had taken place in a great hurry. Many 
mistakes had been made. Amongst the privates there was of 
course a desire to take the place of the unpopular officers. 
As before stated, the 9th regiment was tired of its colonel, 
Paine. A great many declared that they would not reenlist 



162 

under him. There were amongst the other regiments hun- 
dreds of Germans who wanted to enter the German regiments. 
In fact, there were enough dissatisfied Germans there to make 
up a regiment. In St. Clair and the adjoining counties there 
were also a great many Germans who had not yet served and 
who after Bull Run were anxious to show their love for the 
Union by joining the army. 

Fremont reached St. Louis and had taken command of 
the Western Department some time in July. His name had 
exercised a magical influence; particularly so amongst the 
Germans. There was a sort of romantic halo about him. 
Many had voted for him for President. I am sure that thou- 
sands of young men in Illinois, Missouri and the Western 
States generally would never have volunteered but for him. 
Sigel having been made a brigadier-general, the Germans were 
particularly anxious to fight under him. Under the impres- 
sion that I would have no trouble in raising at least two Ger- 
man regiments, I wrote to Senator Trumbull and enclosed 
my proposition to form a German brigade to the President on 
the 24th of July. Trumbull informed me that the President 
would not take the responsibility of acting definitely in the 
matter, but he would lay my letter before Cameron with such 
an endorsement as would insure its serious consideration at 
the War Department. 

In the same letter Trumbull spoke of the Bull Run battle : 

' ' I was over the river on the day of the battle, though not 
near enough to see the enemy or any of the fighting, but I 
saw our men in their flight. It was dreadfully humiliating to 
witness their condition. Our disaster was in my judgment all 
owing to the want of proper officers. Everything at Centre- 
ville seemed to me to be in the utmost confusion. There was 
no order and no head. Perhaps we could not have defeated 
the enemy and taken all their batteries, but there was no sort 
of occasion for our flight. I saw soldiers running at full 
speed, and some actually throwing away their guns when there 
was no enemy in sight, or, in fact, as I am satisfied, not within 
three miles of them, and that, too, when our reserves were 
within half a mile. The reserves seemed to have performed 



WASHINGTON IN 1861 163 

no services whatever. You know how it is in the cabinet; 
and, I fear, the confusion existing there reaches into the mili- 
tary department. We need some systematic men at the head 
of affairs. McClellan has made a good start and may remedy 
the evil." 

The reserves spoken of by Senator Trumbull were Blenk- 
er's German division, which was not ordered forward. But 
these reserves were drawn up in order of battle before Centre- 
ville, and remained on the field all day and the night follow- 
ing, while the fugitive army came through their lines. It 
turned out afterwards that not more than half of our army 
in front had been made use of. Surely McDowell had not 
shown any ability at all to lead even as small an army as forty 
thousand men. 

In order to succeed, however, in raising the brigade, (of 
which I had declared at the start that I would not take com- 
mand,) no time was to be lost, for Belleville had become a 
favorite recruiting place. The new three years' regiments 
organizing in Missouri sent recruiting officers over, the 
colonels at Cairo were busy to get men in place of those who 
refused to reenlist. I wrote again to the President and to 
Trumbull, urging a speedy decision, as my men were getting 
impatient and would join other regiments unless soon assured 
of service in the German brigade. On the 3rd of August I 
received a dispatch from Washington that the matter was 
still under advisement. There were three splendid companies 
from Cairo already organized in Belleville. I kept them a 
few days. I could not keep them longer. One company 
under Captain Kaercher left on the 6th day of August for 
St. Louis to join the 12th Missouri under Osterhaus. To give 
an idea of what sort of men they were, I will mention the 
names of the officers and non-commissioned officers, amongst 
whom were our noble nephew, Joseph Ledergerber, and cousin 
Tyndale ; Captain Kaercher ; First Lieutenant A. Affleck ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant Joseph Ledergerber; Orderly-Sergeant Fritz 
Kessler ; First Sergeant Charles Deeke ; Second Sergeant Wil- 
liam Aulbach; Third Sergeant Henry Kircher; Fourth Ser- 



164 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

geant George Wend ; First Corporal G. Wetzlau ; Second Cor- 
poral Troilus Tyndale; Third Corporal F. Sunkel; Fourth 
Corporal H. Nebgen. Frederick Ledergerber's company also 
started for St. Louis. 

Under these circumstances on the 8th of August I pub- 
lished in the papers that under existing conditions I had to 
give up the plan of forming a German brigade, and sent a 
despatch to the President to the effect that my application 
was withdrawn. Mr. Lincoln regretted it, and in his letter 
of August 8th expressed himself as follows: 

"Without occupying our standpoint you cannot conceive 
how this subject embarrasses us. We have promises out to 
more than four hundred regiments, which, if they all come, 
are more than we want. If they all come, we cannot take 
yours ; if they do not all come, we shall want yours. And yet 
we have no possible means of knowing whether they will all 
come or not. I hope you will make due allowance for the 
embarrassment thus produced." 

Still, there were hundreds of young men in St. Glair who 
were yet hoping to get into a German regiment, and I also 
constantly received letters from persons in other counties 
offering to enter one, if I succeeded in getting the authority. 
I applied to Governor Yates; and, although he had accepted 
regiments enough to fill our State quota under the new call, 
he gave me authority to organize an independent regiment 
and to send up companies as soon as formed to Camp Butler. 
I immediately gave public notice of this authority, and com- 
panies were at once formed in St. Clair. Capt. Julius Raith, 
brother-in-law to Doctor Reuss, who had been in Captain Bis- 
sel's regiment in the Mexican War, who was a man of energy 
and very popular, and who was then carrying on his business 
as a millwright, in which he excelled, at O 'Fallen, a strong 
Democrat heretofore, was one of the first to enlist, and ren- 
dered most valuable services in recruiting. Our Adolph, the 
soldier of Mexico and Schleswig-Holstein, was also most act- 
ive, went through the State and succeeded in enlisting several 
excellent companies. Still it was an up-hill business, as many 



WASHINGTON IN 1861 165 

had already enlisted in other companies. William R. Morri- 
son was also organizing a regiment, and, as he was very popu- 
lar amongst the Germans, he had a good many of them from 
Monroe and Randolph in his regiment. By virtue of most 
strenuous exertions I succeeded, however, in having seven 
companies in Camp Butler by September. It took Morrison 
several months longer before he filled up his. Of this regi- 
ment, which named itself after me, but whose official name 
was the Forty-third Infantry, Julius Raith was appointed, 
by Governor Yates, colonel, Adolph Engelmann lieutenant- 
colonel, A. Dengler, who had been in Sigel's regiment during 
the summer campaign, major ; while Captain Stephani, Franz 
Grimm, Dr. Starkloff, Wm. Ehrhardt, Tobien, Schemminger, 
and Ernest Decker, were or became captains in the regiment. 

RELATIVES IN THE WAR 

I may as well say here that our family was well repre- 
sented in the Union forces during the war. Adolph became 
colonel of the 43rd, after Colonel Raith had fallen at Shiloh, 
commanding a brigade most of the time. Fritz Scheel was 
an officer in the 9th, until he was disabled for further service 
by a wound received at Shiloh. Frederick Ledergerber was 
major in the 12th Missouri and was wounded at Ringgold, 
Georgia, where the talented and amiable Joseph Ledergerber, 
captain, was killed. Another nephew, Ernest Decker, was 
captain in the 43rd Illinois, but on account of serious sickness 
was bound to resign, and his early death was undoubtedly a 
consequence of the heart-disease he contracted in the army. 
Ernest Hilgard was in the 43rd ; Charles Hilgard in the 12th 
Missouri; and so was Troilus Tyndale, who was seriously 
wounded at Pea Ridge. They were cousins of Sophie. My 
own short service in the army I count for nothing. 

Our young and lovely niece, Charlotte Ledergerber, vol- 
unteered to act as nurse in the military hospital at Benton 
Barracks, and performed most valuable service under the 
greatest self-sacrifice; while Sophie, sister Elizabeth Scheel, 



166 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

and a great many patriotic ladies of Belleville, most in- 
dustriously prepared underwear, stockings, lint, etc. 

APPOINTED ON FREMONT'S STAFF 

While I was thus busily engaged in organizing the regi- 
ment, Governor Yates wrote me, that he thought it of great 
importance to have some one from Illinois on General Fre- 
mont's staff. Nearly all, if not entirely all, of the Illinois 
regiments belonged to this department. He said that every- 
one about the State House wanted me appointed. I declared 
myself willing to take the place of aide-de-camp, since this 
involved no responsibility, such an officer having only to 
execute the orders of the commanding general. Indeed, I had 
been of late so much amongst soldiers, had been considered 
in all the camps as a military officer, and had shared the 
honor of one, that I had become somewhat enamored of a 
soldier's life. It seems that Governor Yates saw General 
Fremont, or wrote to him about the matter, and, on the 10th 
of September, I received a letter from Major J. H. Eaton, of 
the United States Army, military secretary of General Fre- 
mont, saying that he had invited me to take an appointment 
in his staff with the rank of colonel, and that he would be 
happy to know if I would accept that position. I wrote a 
letter of acceptance. As General Fremont issued only tem- 
porary commissions, my friends thought it best that the Pres- 
ident should appoint me; so, on the 28th of September, I 
received the appointment of aide-de-camp with the rank of 
colonel in the service of the United States from the President 
with directions to report in person for orders to Major-Gen- 
eral Fremont, U. S. Army. This Presidential appointment 
gave me an entirely independent position. 

When I called on General Fremont he received me as 
cordially as lay in his nature. He knew very well my rela- 
tions with Mr. Lincoln, and, as there were already deep mur- 
murs of discontent with his administration of the department, 
it was his policy to be on the best terms with me. 



CHAPTER XXXV 

With Fremont in Missouri 

The loss of the battle at Wilson's Creek, where General 
Lyon fell, on the 8th of August, 1861, as also the surrender of 
Mulligan's brigade at Lexington, were by many ascribed to 
Fremont's inaction. On the 21st of August he had issued a 
proclamation declaring martial law throughout the State of 
Missouri, and the property real and personal of all persons 
in the State who would take up arms against the United States, 
confiscated to the public use, and their slaves free. 

"While this proclamation created the wildest enthusiasm 
on the part of the ardent Republicans, particularly amongst 
the Germans, it was strongly condemned by the conservative 
Union men in St. Louis, in the State of Missouri, and in the 
Border States generally. It did indeed go much farther than 
the confiscation-law of Congress, passed in July. President 
Lincoln, always anxious to keep the Border States in, disap- 
proved of the measure. But, being always careful not to 
hurt the feelings of men he believed honest in their opinions, 
he called Fremont's attention to the law, and asked him to 
modify his order in accordance with it. But Fremont was 
stubborn, and refused to make the change, informing the 
President that if he disliked the order he should cancel it him- 
self. Lincoln did recall it. But this conduct of Fremont 
was not calculated to make the relations between him and the 
President pleasant. It was an outright act of disobedience 
to orders emanating from the commander-in-chief of all the 
armies of the United States. 



168 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

FREMONT'S DIFFICULTIES 

There were many other complaints. The erection of a 
number of forts at an immense expense round St. Louis, 
thought to be perfectly unnecessary by military men, the 
making of large contracts for arms, accoutrements and sup- 
plies against the existing rules requiring open bidding, the 
establishment of a mounted body-guard of picked young gen- 
tlemen, principally from Ohio, and the creating of offices and 
officers unknown to the service, made him quite unpopular at 
the very start with the war department. And, besides this, 
he was very difficult of access, was cold and reticent in con- 
versation, and had brought along with him from the East 
an almost complete staff consisting of men unknown in the 
West. It was thus no wonder he met with much opposition. 
The Blairs, who worked for his appointment, became alienated 
from him; while Frank Blair openly quarreled with him, 
and was once even placed under arrest by the General. 

Much of this opposition sprang from interested motives, 
as I had full occasion to observe. There were plenty of very 
warm Union men who yet sought to make very large profits 
out of their patriotism. These clamored for all sorts of con- 
tracts for horses, beef, mules, hay, wagons, etc., and, when 
they did not succeed, they naturally charged Fremont with 
favoring certain friends and acquaintances of his from the 
East or from California. But one thing cannot be denied, 
that Fremont did many acts entirely against the acknowledged 
rules of the service. He charged the officers of the regular 
army whom he found at St. Louis at the headquarters of the 
department, such as Colonel Andrews, the paymaster, Major 
Callender, of the ordnance department, and Colonel Eaton, of 
the engineer corps, with being too fond of "red tape," and 
forced them to do things which they believed to be illegal. 
They were all excellent officers, however. 

On behalf of General Fremont, I must say that his situa- 
tion was one of unprecedented difficulty. On his arrival in 
the middle of July, and within a few weeks after, he found 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 169 

about 30,000 in and about St. Louis, who, with the exception 
of some regiments that had previously been in the three 
months' service, were all recruits hastily got together. The 
material was of the very best; for it was the youth who had 
hurried to the field under the first call in April and the later 
call in August, with no bounties dangling before their eyes, 
but urged only by their love for the Union. They were quite 
a different class from those who later in the war entered 
either under the spur of high bounties, or were forced in by 
the draft. It was, as I have said, splendid material; but it 
was raw material. 

Fremont, having Bull Run before his eyes, was unwilling 
to enter into the campaign without organizing his forces and 
without collecting sufficient transportation and supplies of all 
kinds. Besides, his department, consisting of all the States 
and Territories west and northwest of Ohio and part of Ken- 
tucky, was, considering it was a time of war, much too large 
to be easily handled. Part of the troops, mostly Illinoisans, 
were in northern Missouri, and another very large part was at 
Cairo and in southern Missouri, and a detachment at Paducah, 
Kentucky. I speak from my own knowledge, when I say, that 
his correspondence with the governors of the different States, 
with the administration at Washington, with the commanders 
of the troops in these eight or nine territories, was immense, 
and could hardly be mastered by him, his private secretary, 
his military secretary, and his highly intelligent and most 
energetic wife, Jessie Benton Fremont, together. As for 
making contracts and attending to the routine of business, 
this had to be left to a great extent to subordinates, most of 
whom grossly abused his confidence. 



Fremont was not only ambitious, but also vain, lending 
a ready ear to sycophants. He had very little knowledge of 
the nature of men, at least I formed that opinion. General 
McKinstry, of the regular army, whom he had brought along, 



170 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

and who was made quartermaster-general and also provost 
marshal, was unpopular in the regular army and as provost 
marshal had made himself perfectly odious by his vexatious 
measures. No one was permitted to leave St. Louis or St. 
Louis County without a pass similar to the one I had obtained 
in Washington in order to pass the military lines of the army. 
St. Louis was an open city, with a score or more of streets 
leading out into the country. Along the east line of the city 
and county flowed the Mississippi River, which could be easily 
crossed by small boats at any time. To draw a cordon around 
the county-boundary would have required half the troops then 
in the city. All saloons had to be closed by dark, and all per- 
sons found in the streets after nine o'clock were arrested by 
patrols. Numerous arrests were made of citizens suspected 
to be disloyal, and no redress could be had in the courts, as 
martial law had been proclaimed. A great deal of the dis- 
satisfaction with Fremont was owing to McKinstry. I be- 
lieve him to have been a brave and dashing soldier. He was 
more than six feet high and of corresponding robustness, of 
dark complexion and features indicating resolution and en- 
ergy. He had "an eye like Mars to threaten and command." 
When in full regimentals on a powerful black charger he 
paraded the streets, he looked the very ideal of a soldier. 

PREPARATIONS AND PERSONAL SURROUNDINGS 

In haste I had to prepare myself for my new duties. I 
bought a saddle-horse, saddle and bridle, valise, trunk, 
blankets, sword and revolver. In a few days I had my uni- 
form ready. I engaged an enlisted man, Ben Sauer, as a 
servant, and spent most of my time at headquarters, in the 
elegant and splendid residence of Colonel Brant, a relative 
of Mrs. Fremont on Choteau Avenue. But I had misgivings 
from the start. A few days after my entering the service, I 
met Montgomery Blair, who, with General Meigs, then, I be- 
lieve, the quartermaster or commissary general at Washing- 
ton, was at the Planter's House, where I staid. Montgomery 



171 

Blair, being an old friend of mine, took no pains to withhold 
from me his business. He, as a member of the cabinet, and 
General Meigs, had been sent by the President to look into 
the affairs of the department. He told me frankly that they 
had found a great deal of disorder and confusion ; that money 
had been wasted to an incredible extent; that all rules and 
regulations of the service had been violated; and that they 
would have to make a very unfavorable report. From what 
he had said I was led to ask him directly whether it was in 
contemplation to supersede Fremont in command of the de- 
partment. "I will tell you," Mr. Blair said, "but it must 
be considered by you as strictly confidential, that I believe that 
will be the upshot." Even if Blair had not made this a con- 
fidential matter, I should have kept it secret from policy, for, 
had at that early moment the belief been entertained of Fre- 
mont's removal, it would have at once stopped volunteering 
to a great extent. 

At headquarters I conversed mostly with Colonel Eaton, 
military secretary and senior aide-de-camp, and with General 
Alexander Asboth. The latter was a Hungarian, who had 
been a prominent officer in the Hungarian army against Aus- 
tria in 1848 and 1849, and who had been living in exile in 
London and Paris, and then in the United States. Fremont, 
I believe, brought him with him from New York. He was 
about forty-five or fifty years of age, tall and muscular, with 
a rather handsome face. His deportment was that of a sol- 
dier and a gentleman. He was chief-of-staff, to which posi- 
tion his knowledge of military affairs may have entitled him ; 
yet he was of course a stranger to our mode of service and 
to the country and to the people among whom he had to act. 
He took great pains, however, with the present theatre of 
war. He had procured the best maps he could obtain, and 
was busy making diagrams, tables of distances, etc., etc. We 
became quite good friends. After Fremont's removal, he com- 
manded a division at Pea Ridge, where he was wounded. He 
afterwards served in Kentucky and Florida, and was shot in 



172 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the head in a battle somewhere in the South. The ball was 
never extracted. After the war he was appointed minister 
to the Argentine Republic in 1866; he died in Buenos Ayres 
in consequence of his wound in 1868. Another Hungarian 
was on Fremont's staff as chief topographical engineer, Col. 
John Fiala, who married Judge Rombauer's sister. Col. A. 
Albert was also an aide-de-camp; with both of these gentle- 
men I became very well acquainted. 

FREMONT'S STAFF 

Speaking of Fremont's staff, I must say it was a curios- 
ity. It consisted of no less than twenty-eight persons, enough 
for a commander of one hundred thousand and more. Some 
of the officers of that staff were unknown to our service, as, 
for instance, the ' ' commander of the body guard, ' ' the ' ' mus- 
ical director," the "adletus to the chief of staff," (an Aus- 
trian denomination), and a ''director of transportation," 
there being already a quartermaster-general and an assistant 
quartermaster-general on the staff, whose business was trans- 
portation. A " military registrator and expeditor" (no one 
knew what this meant), a "postal director," a "police direct- 
or," and two private secretaries, fifteen aides-de-camp, from 
colonels down to captains. It was true, that some of these 
aides were mere volunteers, who, I believe, claimed no pay, 
but wanted merely to exercise a political influence, as, for 
instance, Owen Lovejoy, a member of Congress at the time, 
John A. Gurley, one of the best known Abolition leaders, 
and one or two politicians from Indiana. 

The resident staff, which Fremont found at St. Louis 
and which he left there when he took the field, (St. Louis still 
being the headquarters of the department,) was very able: 
Colonel Eaton, Captain Chauncey McKeever, J. C. Kelton, 
(both young, but very bright and energetic,) Captain E. C. 
Davis, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews, and F. D. Callender, 
captain of ordnance all of the regular army. On the entire 
staff that he took to the place w r ere only two officers of the 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 173 

regular army, General McKinstry and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Totten, chief of artillery. 

LEGAL DUTIES IN CAMP 

That this strange composition was severely criticised may 
be imagined. Now it may be asked what my business was as 
aide-de-camp. There had been, as already stated, numerous 
arrests of high and low persons charged with disloyalty. 
General Fremont had brought along with him a lawyer of 
some distinction, R. R. Corvin, of Cincinnati, whom he had 
appointed judge-advocate. Major Corvin had examined into 
these cases, and had taken many depositions. Of course, it 
was his business to report on these cases, and to recommend re- 
leases or trials before a court-martial. But after I arrived 
he was ordered to turn all the records and papers over to me, 
and it was for me to advise what should be done. I have no 
doubt Major Corvin did not relish these proceedings; but 
neither he nor I could help it. There was some labor con- 
nected with the position. I found that the proofs of the 
charges of disloyalty amounted in most of the records merely 
to loud and disrespectful talk about Lincoln, to idle boastings 
in the streets and saloons, and to hurrahing for Jeff Davis. 
Some very prominent and otherwise very respectable citizens 
had also been proved to have expressed disloyal sentiments, 
but in no case was any overt act or aid or assistance to the 
rebels proved, or, at least so clearly proved as to justify a 
conviction in a court of law. I believe in every case but one 
I recommended immediate dismissal of the cases and release 
of the prisoners. 

What became of these reports I do not know, as I soon 
left for the field. Trouble, however, I had enough. Patriots 
from Illinois who wanted contracts, or against whom com- 
plaints had been made on account of having failed to comply 
with their contracts, applied to me constantly to intercede for 
them with Fremont, which I absolutely declined to do, and for 
which I was roundly cursed. I being the only German aide- 



174 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

de-camp on the staff, German officers who thought that their 
commands had not received proper accoutrements or had been 
in some way neglected, brought their complaints to me, and 
of course I tried to use my influence to have their demands, 
when reasonable, satisfied. Some letters written to Sophie at 
that time will best show how I felt. 

"St. Louis, Sept. 24, 1861. 

"Dear Sophie: Here yet (9 o'clock in the evening, 
Tuesday) ; but, as our baggage is just now being loaded on 
the wagons, I think we will get off to-morrow (Wednesday). 
It has been very tiresome, as we were ordered to be ready on 
Monday morning to start, and were delayed from hour to 
hour. 

' ' Chaos reigns here. I will go with this expedition ; and 
if things do not improve, I will resign. I have already talked 
very freely about the mismanagement of many things. His 
(Fremont's) surroundings, for the greater part, are good for 
nothing. Only an important victory can save him. This 
evening Osterhaus 's regiment has gone up the river. 

' ' I am fully equipped now, but still have bought nothing 
which I cannot easily re-sell. You see how much I suspect 
matters. But now farewell. Kiss all, and most of all the 
little one, and do not be too uneasy about me." 

St. Louis, Sept. 26, 1861. 

' ' Dear Child : After miserably waiting, it is said we shall 
start at noon today. I am well, and hope to remain well. We 
think we will be back in two weeks. Believe me that I will 
not court danger unnecessarily, since I have not entered the 
army to obtain military glory. My position does not of itself 
expose me to much danger, and so I hope to see you again in 
good health. Kiss all, and accept the most cordial greetings 
from me." 

To explain my expectation of returning in fourteen days : 
In the first place I wrote to Sophie in a hopeful manner to 
dispel and diminish her anxiety ; but the talk at headquarters 
really was that way. Strange enough, it was supposed that 
Price was still with his main force at Lexington, and that he, 
having fortified the place, would give us battle there. We 
were to stay only a day or two at Jefferson City, the army 
to go by rail part of the way, reaching, in a few days, Lexing- 



WITH FRfiMONT IN MISSOURI 175 

ton, smashing Price to pieces, and to return at once covered 
with glory. 

IN CAMP AT JEFFERSON CITY 

Our horses and servants had already gone to Jefferson 
City by river. We did not start, however, on the 26th, but 
on the 27th, just before dinner. Fremont's staff and our bag- 
gage went in two cars. At Herman we made a stop for re- 
freshment. We had some excellent Herman wine and grapes, 
sandwiches, etc. The people there received us enthusiastically, 
as only Germans can. It was late in the night when we ar- 
rived at Jefferson City. As might be expected, no arrange- 
ments had been made for our reception. It was a tolerably 
bad night. Only one gentleman was there, Ex-Governor 
Thomas Price, of Missouri, a Union man, with a black fel- 
low who had a small lantern. We had to climb up a rough, 
rocky hill to get into the city, and we lost one another ; some 
getting into one street, some into another. The town was not 
lighted. Some four or five of us finally reached a corner 
tavern ; but it was full, and we were shown to another one, 
a large, three-story frame-house. But when we got in, we 
found that the landlord had left. A colored man, however, 
showed us up to a large room, where he said we might find 
some benches to rest on. Most of the room was already occu- 
pied by part of the body-guards, who slept on their blankets, 
using their saddles for pillows. My servant had been at the 
depot, where he had had to leave my trunk, there being no 
conveyance there, but he had got my blankets and carpet-sack 
so that I could make a sort of bed on the floor. He himself 
had put my horse in a stable where he slept, and I believe by 
order of General Fremont, who, I think, stopped at Governor 
Price's residence, the house had been cleared for the staff. 
At any rate we got some breakfast there. But the house was 
very uncomfortable, and, strolling through Main Street, I 
discovered a restaurant kept by a German. On entering I 
found some of my friends there, from the Osterhaus and 
other regiments, who had made this place their rendezvous. 



176 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

It was not a lodging-house, but the keeper offered me a small 
room as long as I should stay in town, which offer I gladly 
accepted. 

On Saturday, September 28, 1861, I wrote to Sophie: 

"Dear Sophie: Last evening we arrived here. The place 
is full of life. Osterhaus 's regiment is still here. I don't think 
we will leave before Monday. The weather today is wonder- 
fully fine. The enemy is said to be still at Lexington. The 
staff is in a miserable tavern. There is not a public place 
here in which half of the window panes are not out. It is 
very much backwoods here. It is to be hoped that the enemy 
will run away; for I don't believe that we will attack them 
vigorously. It is the old story, always talking of a strong 
position, throwing up fortifications and other nonsense. Per- 
haps I may soon write something more interesting. At present 
only the most cordial greetings. Kiss all! They say that I 
look very well in my uniform. What dost thou think of it? 
Adieu Adieu. ' ' 

Instead of starting on Monday, the 30th of September, 
for the enemy, Fremont informed us that we would have to 
go into camp. "The sooner you gentlemen get used to camp- 
life, the better," said he. He gave us no further explanation. 
Of course, we were all surprised. We soon saw, however, the 
reason for this measure. General Pope, who commanded the 
Union forces in North Missouri, and who was to join the troops 
that had come from St. Louis, reported that he had not half 
enough transportation. Other commanders made similar com- 
plaints. At the same time, it was ascertained that General 
Price had left Lexington and was going southward to join 
General McCullough, who, with a large force, had occupied 
Springfield and its neighborhood. So the Union army would 
have to turn off from their line of march and traverse without 
railroad communication, a large region of country, which, of 
course, necessitated additional supplies of wagons, horses and 
mules, to collect which took much time. 

CAMP-LIFE AND CAMP-COMPANIONS 

Monday evening we went into camp on the hills, about 
a mile from the town, where, in a large, well-wooded pasture, 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 177 

tents had been struck. Why the staff, which could have been 
accommodated in the State House or in one of the many 
deserted residences, where all the business could have been 
done without any trouble, was taken out into tents, was not 
easily explained. General Asboth was much dissatisfied. He 
had to pack up all his maps, diagrams, and a mass of other 
papers, and put them into a tent, where there was little light 
by day and none by night. All our baggage had to be taken 
up, and our horses, which had been stabled in town, were 
put into miserable log-stables and barns on an adjoining 
farm. The spot, however, was a beautiful one, with a splendid 
view up and down the river and of the rich bottom-forests 
on the north side of the river. There was one great draw- 
back, however. Just before our arrival the country had been 
flooded by equinoctial rains. The ground was yet thoroughly 
wet, particularly inside of the tents, where the sun could not 
penetrate and dry up the soil. The ground soon became a 
perfect slush. But by procuring a few planks we mended the 
matter somewhat. The weather now was clear and in the 
middle of the day the sun was very hot, though the nights 
were comparatively cold. In St. Louis I had formed a mess 
with William Dorscheimer, son of my old friend Philip 
Dorscheimer, of Buffalo, and Colonels Shanks and Hudson, 
of Indiana. We got a mess chest with all the apparatus be- 
longing to it, knives, forks, spoons, etc., and occupied a rather 
commodious Sibley tent. 

William Dorseheimer was a young man, tall and of im- 
posing stature, and of a handsome and intelligent face, the 
very picture of health apparently, but only apparently. 
He was bright, well informed, and very refined. Indeed, he 
was at that time somewhat of a dandy. He brought with him 
from his father's hotel a well-trained body-servant of English 
extraction, who attended exclusively upon him. It took 
Dorscheimer about half an hour to dress in the morning, or 
rather to be dressed by his man, who actually put on his under- 
wear and clothes, as does a maid for her mistress. We often 



178 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

made our jokes about this, which he did not take in the best 
humor. After the war I became more intimate with him, on 
my several visits to Buffalo. He was appointed district at- 
torney of the United States for the western district of New 
York by President Lincoln, after Fremont's staff was dis- 
charged. As park-commissioner he achieved great merit in 
laying out the beautiful Buffalo Park. When Tilden was 
Governor, he was elected Lieutenant-Governor of New York. 
He was also elected to Congress, but resigned before his term 
was out to enter into journalism, editing the "New York 
Star. ' ' On account of his delicate health and that of his most 
charming wife, he made several trips to Europe, and died a 
few years ago in Florida, I believe. He was also an elegant 
writer, contributing from time to time to the magazines. In 
1872, like so many other Democrats, he left the Republican 
party. The last time I saw him was in 1876, at Albany, New 
York, a few weeks before the Presidential election. He seemed 
then in better health than ever before. The other two gentle- 
men of the mess I soon lost sight of. I believe, however, 
Colonel Shanks was for some years a member of Congress. 

A day or two after we had gone into camp, a curious 
episode happened. General Fremont handed me the last 
newspaper from St. Louis, containing a telegraphic dispatch 
that Colonel Koerner, of Fremont's staff, had been appointed 
brigadier-general. I at once pronounced it a mistake, telling 
him that I had repeatedly declined that office. Nevertheless, 
the news spread at once throughout the camp. In spite of 
my protestations, everybody came to my tent congratulating 
me. In the evening the splendid headquarters' band, which 
shared our camp under the leadership of my excellent friend, 
August Waldauer, who figured on the list of the staff as 
"musical director," gave me a serenade, and some one made 
me a flowery speech, to which I had to reply under some em- 
barrassment. Thanking my friends for their kindness, I still 
assured them that it was all a mistake. And so it turned out 
to be. It will be recollected that my first appointment was by 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 179 

Fremont. On the 28th of September I got my commission 
from the President. This was reported by telegraph, and, by 
mistake, it was stated to be an appointment as brigadier- 
general. 

On the 1st of October, I wrote to Sophie: 

"I am scribbling this in my tent on a little chest. We 
have had two tolerably cold nights in camp. Many of the 
officers have already caught the camp-diarrhoea, but I am free 
from it yet. I don't believe that we shall leave here before 
the end of the week." I then told her of the report which 
made me a brigadier-general, of the congratulations and ser- 
enade. ' ' I would have at once declined, ' ' I wrote, ' ' inasmuch 
as I had not accepted the office before. Thousand greetings, 
kiss Victor many times! Little Fremont, only ten years 
old, wants to go with the body-guard into the fight. Victor 
should take an example, and not be afraid. Our camp has 
a very fine situation high up on the bluff and we overlook 
about ten camps, a beautiful sight at night. Adieu. ' ' 

Mrs. Fremont had arrived the night before with her 
daughter. She lodged in a farm-house near by, but spent 
most of the day in camp. Of course, there was much serenad- 
ing. We passed our time practicing revolver-shooting and 
visiting other camps. I found my friend, Colonel Palmer, in 
one, and we had a very pleasant time. He had about the same 
opinion as I had regarding things, and that not a favorable 
one. 

Fremont was a singular man. One afternoon he invited 
the staff to take a ride with him through the town and examine 
some earthworks that had been thrown up for our defense a 
mile or two out. He had a very fine blooded horse, and he, 
as is well known, was a magnificent horseman. The moment 
he reached town he went into a smart trot. It was not pos- 
sible to keep up with his wonderfully fast horse; so nearly 
every one had to jump into a sort of racing gallop. Several 
of the staff were little used to hard riding, and fell behind. 
After looking a few minutes at the fortifications, we ran a 
race back through town and up the hill to the camp. 

We lived somewhat better than the private soldiers, but 



180 

not much. We had to buy our provender at the commissary- 
stores, and there was not much variety to be got; beans and 
pork, sometimes fresh beef, potatoes, salt, corn-meal, vinegar, 
coffee and sugar, and bread, which latter was very good. We 
had at common expense hired a colored man in St. Louis to 
wait on us and to do our cooking. We had laid in some hams 
and some tongues, but they were soon gone, as we generally 
had guests at our table. There was no market in Jefferson 
City, either for meat or for vegetables. But our cook managed 
to get some extras from neighboring farms : cabbages, tomatoes, 
eggs, and occasionally chickens, which he probably stole, 
for chicken-stealing seems to be a matter of principle with the 
blacks, though we paid him a high price for them. 

On the 3rd of October I wrote home : 

"My Dearest Sophie: We live a little more comfortably 
than the private soldiers, but the difference after all is little. 
Sometimes the alarm is given at night, and we must all hurry 
out and run to the General's tent. There is much absurdity 
in all this. Since Monday Jessie and her daughter are here. 
Nearly all the officers are in love with one or the other, or at 
least pretend to be. The camp where the staff and body-guard 
are. is named Camp Lily for the girl. Serenades are the 
order of the day and night. We have Kost's silver cornet 
band under Waldauer's lead. Jessie is not handsome, but 
makes an impression; and she knows how to make herself 
amiable. For all she has engaging smiles and is frank and 
unaffected in speaking. 

"Fremont is always absorbed in thinking; but whether 
his thoughts are worth anything, the result will show. Those 
closest to him are worthless; they are California adventurers 
or favorites of Jessie. The real military business is all done 
by Asboth, Albert, and Wagner (chief of ordnance), the last 
two German-Hungarians. Fremont is very civil to me, de- 
sires evidently that I should support him with the President. 
Trumbull, as Jessie, (who has just returned from a trip to 
Washington,) told me, had advised her that Fremont should 
at once send some one to Washington as an agent to press 
his requisition for arms, money and ammunition. But he does 
not seem willing to do it. Perhaps because he thinks that, in 
case matters do not go well here, he can make the administra- 
tion responsible, perhaps he has got everything he wants. 



181 

"What the newspapers say about a great battle being on 
the eve of taking place at Lexington or some other place, is 
all guess-work. Fremont has such a force, particularly in 
artillery, that the Missouri band with Price cannot dare to 
meet him. A battle now cannot possibly enter into their 
plans ; there may be here and there skirmishes, but great bat- 
tles are all fudge, to amuse the readers. No officer of exper- 
ience has any such belief. The last two nights we had big 
thunder-storms and heavy rains. It is very wet in our tent. 
But I try to keep my feet dry. It is still said that in a few 
weeks we will be back in St. Louis and in November will go 
down to New Orleans. I am thus far very well and this sort 
of life seems to suit me. My business is very light and con- 
sists in hearing complaints from suspected Missourians whose 
property has been taken by the military. But as nearly all 
cases in such claims are alike, I have made but two decisions, 
and everything is decided according to those precedents with- 
out giving me much trouble. 

' ' Do not have any anxiety about me and write me as often 
as thou canst, as of course I love to hear from you. Greetings, 
and kiss the children, and let little Victor write to me. 
Thine, G." 

One passage requires an explanation. I was appointed 
by Fremont president of a commission, consisting of Ex- 
Governor Price of Missouri, Owen Lovejoy, and myself, to 
examine into and decide on the many complaints that were 
made to the General by Missourians who, having been de- 
nounced as disloyal, had horses and provisions taken from 
them or fences taken up for camp-fires or timber cut down 
for various purposes. They usually came supplied with wit- 
nesses to prove their loyalty. Governor Price knew some of 
them personally, and, on his vouching for their Unionism, 
their claims were allowed and orders given to restore their 
property or to pay money for the damages proved. We held 
our sessions in Governor Price's house. 

OWEN LOVEJOY 

It was here that I became more intimately acquainted with 
Owen Lovejoy than I had been before. Lovejoy was a very 
portly man, with a kind and intellectual face, good eyes, and 



182 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

healthy complexion. Though educated, I believe, for the 
clergy, he had for many years devoted himself to politics, had 
been a member of our Legislature, had been, and was then, 
I believe, a representative in Congress for the Princeton dis- 
trict. He was not a radical Abolitionist of the Garrison school, 
but was very much and very openly opposed to the institu- 
tion of slavery, embittered, of course, by the tragic death of 
his brother Elijah, who was murdered by an Alton mob in 
1835 for editing there a paper advocating the gradual aboli- 
tion of slavery. 

Lovejoy in many respects reminded me of Henry Ward 
Beecher. Both were clergymen, both were generous and social 
men. Even their personality was very similar. Like Mr. 
Beecher, Lovejoy was fond of society, was full of humor him- 
self and as much pleased at hearing a good story as ever Mr. 
Beecher was. His personal courage was shown in a hundred 
cases when in his public addresses he braved furious pro- 
slavery crowds. In this also he not only equalled but surpassed 
Beecher. Both were idealists and both most impressive and 
eloquent speakers. There are passages in some of Lovejoy 's 
congressional speeches that have hardly ever been equalled by 
the most renowned orators. And like Beecher 's his bursts of 
eloquence did not smell of the lamp. They were instantaneous 
outflows. Some of his best flights of eloquence were repartees 
called forth in debate when no preparation was possible. In 
that commission he was more prepared to allow claims than 
I, and I am sure that after the war he would have been as 
generous to the defeated South as Beecher was and many 
others who carried on a life-long struggle against the unhal- 
lowed institution. He died prematurely in the full strength 
of his manhood, in 1864, deeply regretted by his friends and 
by those of his enemies who knew him personally and who 
could even in a political adversary admire earnest conviction 
and undaunted spirit. 

I have been somewhat particular in recounting these, my 
military services, for they were, as it happened, the only ones 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 183 

that I ever rendered. They were short and entirely unheroic. 
Still, it was quite an experience for one who had heretofore 
been engaged in quiet occupations for many years in family- 
circles. 

AID SOLICITED PROM ILLINOIS 

On the 5th or 6th of October General Fremont sent for 
me. He told me he had just received rather important news 
from South Missouri. At New Madrid a large rebel force had 
accumulated under Lowe and Jeff Thomson, and were moving 
up towards Cape Girardeau, with a view of attacking St. 
Louis. No forces had been left in St. Louis except the home- 
guards, and he wanted to know what troops were ready in 
Illinois for the protection of St. Louis. I answered that to 
my knowledge there were some four or five infantry regiments 
being organized at Camp Butler, near Springfield; also some 
cavalry regiments and some batteries; but how many of them 
were complete, I could not tell. He immediately sent a despatch 
to Governor Yates, requesting him to send all available forces 
to Benton Barracks, St. Louis. In reply, from Adjutant- 
General A. C. Fuller, we were informed that Yates was in 
Washington. A despatch was sent to him at Willard's Hotel, 
his usual stopping place. In reply we learnt that he had left 
for Philadelphia. We wired to the Girard House in that 
place, but he had left for no one knew where. Fremont 
grew impatient. Finally, on the 9th of October, he concluded 
to send me to Springfield, and gave me ample instructions to 
bring as many men as I could ; and if any were skeleton regi- 
ments, they should be consolidated as fast as possible. I left 
on the next train, and reached Springfield on the 10th. 

Adjutant Fuller had been authorized to act for the Gov- 
ernor, whose whereabouts had not been ascertained, in all mili- 
tary matters. Consequently I laid my instructions before 
him. But he seemed to be very unwilling at first to do any- 
thing. The air had been full of rumors for some time that 
Fremont would be removed from command. He was the set- 
ting sun. The atmosphere around Springfield, too, was un- 



184 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

favorable to him ; a good many contractors and would-be con- 
tractors had been disappointed by him. I then addressed him 
an official letter, referring to my instructions. I had gone out 
to Camp Butler, and had got the reports of the regiments as 
to their numbers. The Koerner (43rd) regiment was nearly 
full, lacking only two companies; and there was one German 
company in another regiment which was very anxious to be 
attached to the 43rd. The other regiments were mere skel- 
etons. The officers of the regiments were made up of would-be 
colonels, and were really at the start mere paper officers. For 
instance, there was one supposed regiment, that of Colonel 
John Logan, of Macoupin County, called the 32nd, which was 
consequently, as shown by its number, offered quite early, and 
yet, within three months after it was offered, had only 421 
men. There was another regiment called the 45th, which had 
but 112 men. None of the others had above 300 men. 

Now this was really scandalous. But, of course, the 
would-be officers of the full regiment were all on hand, and 
the moment they learned my errand they rushed to Spring- 
field to use all their influence against consolidation, which, 
meanwhile, had aready been adopted by New York and Penn- 
sylvania. There were men enough in Camp Butler to form 
three full infantry regiments and one regiment of cavalry, 
all lying idle and anxious to take the field, merely to help 
a score or two of politicians to get high ranks. The 43rd was 
the crack regiment there. It was really well drilled, and I was 
very proud when I saw the people of Springfield coming out 
in crowds to attend its evening dress-parade. 

I learned accidentally while at Springfield that there had 
been for some weeks encamped at Chicago a full regiment 
called Yates's Phalanx, Col. Light. When I requested the 
Adjutant-General to order this regiment at once to St. Louis, 
he declined. The reason which had been assigned for not 
ordering troops from Camp Butler because the regiments 
were not complete, did not apply here. I found out that the 
true reason in that case was that Colonel Lamen, of Bloom- 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 185 

ington, at the time marshal of the District of Columbia, who 
had been much befriended by President Lincoln, had under- 
taken to raise an independent brigade of Loyal Virginians, 
but had made poor progress and had obtained from Governor 
Yates a promise that Yates 's Phalanx should be sent East to 
make up the Loyal Virginia brigade. 

At last, when I saw that the State officers at Springfield 
were not disposed to comply with my request, I told them, that 
while I deeply regretted to act against their wishes and the 
alleged policy of my own State, there was but one course re- 
maining to adopt ; that I would, pursuant to instructions, or- 
der the Chicago regiment (the 39th) and the 43rd regiment 
at Camp Butler to repair at once to St. Louis. Our force, I 
said, in South Missouri, under Colonel Carlin, was pressed 
back by a superior force of rebels; that all the troops arrived 
at St. Louis since the army left, had been sent to his support ; 
and that St. Louis, containing a very large secession element, 
would be at the mercy of the rebels, if Carlin should meet 
with defeat. The Adjutant-General, seeing that I meant busi- 
ness, and that it would look much better to have the troops 
moved by orders issuing from the Governor of the State, ac- 
cordingly issued the required instructions. 

ARMY MOVEMENTS IN MISSOURI 

The 43rd left the same evening and the Yates Phalanx 
the same night for Benton Barracks. I also left for St. Louis, 
the 13th of October. On my arrival in the evening the first 
thing I heard was that Secretary of War Cameron had just 
passed through St. Louis to have an interview with Fremont, 
who had left with his army from Jefferson City only a day 
after he had sent me to Springfield, and was on his way to 
Tipton on the Missouri Pacific Road (still in the direction 
towards Lexington) ; and that this was an indication of the 
removal of Fremont. The next morning I went to head- 
quarters to ascertain the whereabouts of the General, as I 
was anxious to join him. I found there Captain C. McKeever 



186 

and Colonel Fiala, who informed me that Fremont was in 
camp at Tipton. Mrs. Fremont, who had returned from 
Jefferson City, sent for me to see her. She was greatly ex- 
cited. She also was apprehensive that Cameron's mission 
boded no good. She had learned in Washington that I had 
written several strong letters to the President in favor of 
her husband's requisition, which had been shamefully neg- 
lected; for this she thanked me much. "0," said she, "if 
my husband had only been more positive. But he never did 
assert himself enough. That was his great fault." I could 
however, not conceal from her, that from what I had experi- 
enced in Springfield, the removal of her husband seemed al- 
most certain. From headquarters I went to Benton Barracks 
to see our boys. They were in good spirits and pretty com- 
fortable, expecting to be sent down to Iron Mountain to sup- 
port Carlin. 

I made my preparations the next morning to leave for 
Tipton, but in the evening I was quite unexpectedly taken 
by a most violent congestive chill, which lasted all night ; and 
the high fever had hardly abated in the morning. I sent for 
Dr. Engelmann. He said I must not have a second attack, 
as there would be danger in it. He gave me large doses of 
quinine. The fever did not return the next day or the day 
following, but I felt more prostrated than I ever felt before, 
after similar attacks. Yet I was determined to depart, when 
the Doctor told me that it was folly ; that I ought to go home 
to recuperate ; and, that if in two weeks I had no new attack, 
I might be able to join the army. He gave me a certificate 
of sickness, and I sent it to the General, asking leave of ab- 
sence for some weeks. My servant Ben, had gone on with the 
staff. I wrote to him to leave my horse and baggage at the 
depot at Tipton. But when my letter reached him, the army 
had already changed its direction and reached Warsaw, cross- 
ing the Osage there in the direction of Springfield. I went 
home. But, although I had no paroxysms, my sickness turned 
into a slow fever, which troubled me most at night, and which 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 187 

my friend Dr. Berchelmann, called abdominal typhoid fever. 
On some days, however, I felt quite well, and, having learned 
that the staff had gone south towards Warsaw, I wrote to 
Colonel Shanks and also to Waldauer to send Ben, my horse, 
and my baggage back to Tipton. They attended to the mat- 
ter. Waldauer 's letter was quite interesting. 

"Warsaw, October 20, 1861. 

' ' Osterhaus and Sigel have already passed over the river, 
and are some twelve miles ahead. Here all is 'secesh.' The 
men are all away. Our troops have taken hold of everything 
left, without discrimination. The women and children are 
crying terribly. Our men have behaved abominably. The 
officers have occupied the houses and made themselves very 
comfortable. Captain Hildenbrandt [who had married our 
Lena Decker] and I have quartered ourselves in a modest 
little house, but we will keep sacred everything in it." 

He then begged me to use my influence in Washington 
to get the staff paid, as they had received nothing as yet, 
although Fremont had urged payment repeatedly at Wash- 
ington. 

On the 19th, two companies of the 3rd were sent down to 
guard the Iron Mountain Railroad bridge over the Merrimac 
River. At the same time I urged procuring the regiment bet- 
ter arms, as there had been bitter complaints about the Aus- 
trian muskets which they had received in St. Louis. I tried 
my best with Yates and Fiala to get them better arms, but 
without success, as they had none. 

On the 22nd I received from headquarters in St. Louis 
a dispatch which relieved me greatly: 

"Field of Battle, Fredericktown, Mo., October 22nd, 1861. 

"To Capt. C. McKeever: 

"In conjunction with Colonel Plummer's command we 
have routed the rebels of Thomson and Lowe, estimated at 
5,000. Their loss was heavy ; ours small, and confined princi- 
pally to the First Indiana Cavalry. We captured four heavy 
guns. Colonel Lowe, the rebel leader, was killed. Major 
Garrit and Captain Hyman, of the Indiana Cavalry, were 
killed in a charge on a battery. 

"W. P. Carlin, Colonel Commanding." 



188 

Carlin was my friend Carlin of the 38th Illinois Infantry. 
A braver soldier never lived. 

On the 25th I got a long letter from Governor Yates, 
which, as it is very characteristic of him, I will in part 
transcribe. 

"My dear Governor: I do not know whose letters an- 
noy me as much as yours, for two reasons. First, they are 
written by a friend, one who, with whatever failings I may 
have (and I confess I have many), has to all others, except to 
himself and me, sustained me. The second, however, is more 
exceptionable, because your letters are based upon the pre- 
sumption that I do not do all I could ; for instance, you say : 
' I do think, Governor, the time requires decisive action. ' Well, 
Governor, who has a^ted upon this hypothesis so much as I? 
I enclose you one of many such dispatches as I have sent to 
the Department laying me liable to arrest for insubordina- 
tion. Even you, who ought to, do not seem to appreciate the 
difficulties of my position. A family of nearly 60,000 troops 
of fifty-five regiments, each one saying my case is peculiar 
my regiment is exposed I have no arms I have been in 
the service many months and so forth. 

"Indeed I must say I approve in every respect of my 
friend Fuller's answer to you. He was right and you were 
wrong. If Colonel Carlin needed help it was not my fault. 
I should not have abandoned my policy in regard to the few 
arms the State had, to have saved a legion. "Salus populi 
suprema lex" is the reason of my policy, as I will explain to 
you hereafter. I will see, Governor, that the company you 
want is assigned to you, if it can be done. 

"The indications at Washington pointed to the removal 
of Fremont. I had several conversations with Lincoln, Cam- 
eron, the Blairs, and so forth. I remonstrated, saying that 
the army of the West would rebel ; and I believe what I said 
suspended the blow, and caused Cameron's visit, because he 
left the day after the Cabinet consulted me, and they said that 
my voice in his behalf was the only one. 

"Your friend, 

"Richard Yates." 

To explain one passage : While at Springfield there were 
then about a thousand Springfield muskets in the Arsenal, 
and I had asked Fuller to let the 43rd have them, which he 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 189 

declined. Only a few companies had been previously provided 
with them. 

FREMONT'S REMOVAL 

Fremont had reached Springfield about the last of Oc- 
tober. Price, as might have been expected, had left Lexing- 
ton, and by rapid marches, had gone down to the neighborhood 
of Springfield, near the old battle-field at Wilson Creek, and 
had effected his junction with General McCullough, who had 
collected a considerable force of some of the best Confederate 
troops. Their joint forces were estimated at about 50,000; 
Fremont's at about 30,000. At Springfield, our advance- 
guard, including the body-guard, had a brilliant fight with the 
rear-guard of Price, and another successful fight had taken 
place in the direction of Wilson Creek, when, to the surprise 
of everybody, General Hunter, on the 2d of November, pre- 
sented an order of removal from the War Department to Gen- 
eral Fremont, an order which had been made out weeks 
before, but was left to be communicated whenever Hunter was 
informed to do so. 

The excitement was tremendous. It amounted almost to 
a mutiny. The Germans, and there were many thousands in 
the command, were particularly indignant. In vain did their 
officers try to pacify them. They swore that they had enlisted 
only under the expectation of being led by Fremont. But Fre- 
mont acted very handsomely. He made a speech and pub- 
lished an order in which, while he regretted having been re- 
called just on the eve of a battle, he appealed to their patriot- 
ism and loyalty, and spoke in high terms of his successor. 
Order was at once restored, though a deep feeling of regret 
and disgust remained for a good while in the breasts of the 
soldiers of the Western armies. 

Hunter ordered at once a retreat in the direction of St. 
Louis. The Northern Republican press, particularly the Chi- 
cago papers, violently denounced the administration, and the 
loyal people of St. Louis, including the Germans, under the 
lead of some indiscreet radicals, on the return of Fremont to 



190 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the city, went to the extreme of giving Fremont a monster 
reception, at which most inflammatory speeches were made. 

I had written a few lines to General Fremont expressing 
my sincere regret at the unkind treatment he had received. 
As he knew very well that Trumbull and Yates and myself 
had done our best to avert this catastrophe at this very un- 
toward time, he wrote me back from St. Louis: 

' ' My dear sir : I regret to hear from our friends that 
your illness still continues. I had still hoped to have had the 
pleasure of seeing you before leaving for the East; but, as 
we leave tomorrow, it will have to be deferred to some other 
time. I should be glad to have a line from you at New York 
to inform me when you have recovered. Meantime, I desire 
to thank you for your friendly assurances, which have, I as- 
sure you, given me great pleasure. 

' ' Hoping I may hereafter have an opportunity to improve 
our acquaintance, which was so unexpectedly interrupted, I 
am, with regard, 

"Very truly, 

"J.C.Fremont." 

On the 18th of November I saw an order published in 
the St. Louis papers by General MeClellan, who had been 
lately appointed general of the Union armies, mustering out 
all the officers of General Fremont's staff, selected by him 
from civil life. As I was, however, appointed by the Pres- 
ident, I did not exactly know whether I was embraced in that 
order or not. Feeling at the time somewhat better, I went 
over to St. Louis in order to consult with some of the officers 
of the regular army, Colonel Andrews, the paymaster, Colonel 
Callender, of the ordnance, and Captain McKeever. They 
were of the opinion that the order covered my case, and, con- 
sidering my state of health, and being also somewhat disgusted 
with the present aspect of affairs, I submitted to their views, 
settled my accounts and considered myself released. I should, 
I believe, have resigned anyway, even if, in the opinion of the 
staff-officers in St. Louis, I had not been embraced in the order. 

The conduct of the German troops at Springfield almost 
amounted to a mutiny when Fremont was removed, and the 



191 

most indiscreet indignation and ovation meeting at St. Louis, 
where the Germans figured most conspicuously, had provoked 
sincere strictures against that element ; and, as nativism made 
great capital out of it, I thought it my duty to address Mr. 
Lincoln on the subject. On the 29th of November, amongst 
other things, I wrote to him : 

"I take this opportunity of saying a few words in ex- 
planation of the conduct of the German population on the re- 
moval of Fremont. They had enthusiastically supported him 
for President in 1856 ; and for that reason, and also because 
he found them in Missouri, with some exceptions of course, 
the only live Union men, Fremont had treated them with 
marked consideration and very great liberality. By this 
course he had gained their strong attachment; and, as they 
are an impressionable and rather enthusiastic people, they 
have been carried away into demonstrations not to be approved 
of and which their own sober second thought will condemn. 
The present excitement will soon die out. They are true to 
the cause and will act with perfect loyalty. I thought I would 
enter this ' ' caveat ' ' in behalf of the Germans, to guard against 
misconstructions. While doing this, I wish, however, to be 
understood as reserving to myself the liberty of judging of 
the removal of Fremont according to the impression and 
thoughts I have, which judgment I shall have an opportun- 
ity of laying before you at a proper time. My health has been 
very bad for the past four or five weeks, but I am recovering. 
With my best wishes for your health and success, I am 

"Yours very truly," etc. 

DEATH OF VICTOR KOERNER 

About the middle of November, our Gustave who attended 
Washington University at St. Louis, came home sick. He had 
been out on a windy, cold night at a Fremont ovation. He had 
a very bad cold in the head and a sore throat. Dr. Berchel- 
mann applied the usual remedies, but found some rather singu- 
lar symptoms, which he at the time could not explain. Yet 
he had little fever, and, as I was confined pretty much to my 
bed-room, where also the library was, he was most of the time 
with me ; the other members of the family were also often in 
the room. Little Victor, on whom Gustave doted, was playing 



192 

nearly all the time around him. Neither the Doctor nor we 
had at the time the slightest knowledge of the infectiousness 
of the dreadful disease with which Gustave was actually 
seized. 

In about ten days Gustave got pretty well over his illness ; 
but, about the 20th of November, Victor was taken down with 
the same complaint, but more acutely. It turned into a putrid 
sore throat, as the Doctor thought. We felt alarmed. Dr. 
Engelmann, from St. Louis, was sent for. In St. Louis sev- 
eral cases of this hitherto hardly known disease had developed. 
It was the terrible diptheria, now become epidemic. Yet the 
Doctor was not without hope. The disease seemed to take 
a favorable turn for a day or two, when suddenly it turned 
out fatal. Victor died on the 3rd of December. The loss of 
this sweet-tempered, genial, highly intellectual boy cast an 
everlasting shadow over our whole life. 

GENERAL DESPONDENCY 

Though my malarial fever had left me, I felt by no 
means well. I suffered from sleeplessness. My physical and 
nervous system was deranged. Public and private affairs 
looked gloomy. Washington was, as it were, a besieged city. 
The complaints from all parts of the Union of McClellan's 
inactivity were deep and loud. "All quiet on the Potomac" 
was the news that daily flashed over the wires from Wash- 
ington. The time when a campaign into Virginia was prac- 
ticable was rapidly passing away. On the 20th of October 
the sad and disastrous battle of Ball's Bluff, a miserable 
blunder, took place, where Colonel Baker from Illinois, but 
then Senator from California, fell, bravely fighting, at the 
head of his command. On the 7th of November the disgrace- 
ful fight and flight under Grant happened at Belmont. Hun- 
ter had given up Southwest Missouri to the tender mercies 
of the rebels. I was ill. From the day of the fall of Fort 
Sumter I had thrown my professional business to the winds. 
Almost constantly absent from home, engaged in what I con- 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 193 

sidered public business, I traversed the State in all directions, 
without the least remuneration. There were, besides, many 
occasions in times like these for contributions to the common 
cause. To equip myself for the campaign involved heavy 
expenses not compensated by a few months' pay as an officer. 
The education of our children was still in our hands. I had 
to make a new start in life. But still I was not despondent, 
and the fortitude with which Sophie, to keep up my spirits, 
bore her terrible affliction, greatly lightened my burden. 

Perhaps it was also some help to me that I could not 
avoid being kept busy. There came numerous letters from 
all parts of the State and even from other States, the writers 
of which offered to enter my regiment, as officers, of course. 
Applications came from friends in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, 
and even from New Mexico, to use my influence with the 
President to get them into office. My friend Hecker asked 
my assistance very strongly. As early as September, when 
his regiment (the 24th) was, I believe, stationed in Kentucky, 
he had fallen out with his lieutenant-colonel or major and 
some captains, whom he always designated as "Slovaken." 
He had come to St. Louis, and told me his trouble. He wanted 
Fremont to dismiss these officers. I at once advised him that 
Fremont would not do it, that they were commissioned by the 
Governor of Illinois, and no one, not even a private, could be 
dismissed without a trial by court-martial. But he insisted, 
saw Fremont, and got these officers discharged. They ap- 
pealed to Washington, and Cameron, as might have been ex- 
pected, reinstated them at once. Hecker then applied to Yates 
to dismiss also those who had no influence, and Hecker com- 
plained that he had not even been answered. In the mean- 
time he had become seriously sick with a venal inflammation 
on one of his legs, and, while I was in Missouri, had gone home 
to his farm. Somehow or other, he thought I could get mat- 
ters mended. He said I knew all about it, and would give 
him light. He was, he said, the victim of an intrigue, and I 
could tell him why it was so. Of course I could not. He 



194 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

wrote me other, very despairing letters at the time. It is well 
known that he resigned, but later in the war he recruited an- 
other regiment, the 82nd Illinois, which was in the battles of 
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, 
Mission Ridge, Kenesaw Mountain, and took part in Sher- 
man's great "March to the Sea." Having been severely 
wounded at Chancellorsville, he resigned in the fall of 1864, 
as his wounds had very much impaired his health. He was 
as brave as a lion, but too high-tempered not to get himself 
involved in many difficulties. 

MILITARY DISORGANIZATION 

But the 43rd regiment occupied most of my attention. 
When Southwest Missouri had been abandoned, some regi- 
ments were sent out on the Missouri Pacific Railroad to guard 
it against the guerrilla bands that were now swarming through 
West Missouri. The 43rd had been sent to Otterville, between 
Tipton and Sedalia. They had been furnished with English 
Tower muskets, a pretty good weapon; but the pistons were 
too large for the caps they had received. So while the men 
were constantly liable to be attacked, they were really with- 
out arms, and I was made responsible for not getting them. 
Adolph, Colonel Raith, Major Dengler, all wrote me pressing 
letters. Besides, they had been attached to General Pope's 
division, while it had been promised they would be attached 
to Sigel's. I went to see General Halleck, who, in the middle 
of November, had been entrusted with the command of the 
Western Department, to have matters set right. Colonel Raith 
who also wrote me very sensibly, in one of his letters (14th 
of December), says: 

"It seems to me your services are at present much needed. 
It seems to one that there is a regular plan pursued to have 
all German regiments rather so divided as to be stuck in with 
American brigades than to be formed of entirely German 
regiments. There may be some cause for such a movement in 
the unsoldierlike behavior of some of the Missouri regiments 
near Rolla and the foolish meetings of their friends in St. 
Louis; but you know more about it than I. Colonel White 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 195 

of the 31st Illinois is at present our brigade commander. He 
is a gentleman, but will try everything to have us permanently 
attached to his brigade, as our regiment is, though I say it 
myself, an acquisition to any brigade. As General Halleck 
says, we are in the face of the enemy. I think he should fur- 
nish us better arms. It will not be amiss if you urge the 
same. ' ' 

They also complained that the staff and some of the cap- 
tains, whose companies were not quite complete, had never 
been paid anything yet, and were poorly off on that account. 

As to the assignment of German companies to General 
Sigel's division, General Sigel also wrote me very urgent let- 
ters. General Fremont had intended and promised, so 
General Sigel informed me, to attach the 43rd and the 9th 
Wisconsin, Colonel Salomon, to his division, and now they 
had been attached to other divisions. Besides, the only cav- 
alry regiment that he had in his division, and which had been 
organized with great labor and trouble, had been in part taken 
from him. "I do not know," Sigel wrote me, "what to think 
of it. I cannot come to Belleville, as I expect every moment 
an order to go to Rolla. I should be exceedingly thankful if 
I could see you; for at this moment there are a number of 
things which I would wish to speak to you about. I will re- 
main here until next Sunday; can't you come?" "I am 
indeed extremely sorry," he contiued, "that I am disapponted 
in my warmest wishes, and am to be separated from my good 
friends. If things continue to go on in this wise, I will re- 
turn to my former occupation and leave it to others to carry 
on the war." 

I had no official station, though Lincoln seemed to be 
under the impression that I was on General Halleck 's staff. 
But the latter treated me with great courtesy and listened to 
my appeals to him, and made fair promises. I did what I 
could, with but moderate success, however. 

The end of this eventful year came. Christmas and New 
Year's were passed by us in mournful stillness and silence. 
No mention was made of those at former times so joyous days. 



196 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

I was in hopes of passing some time at least quietly at 
home, trying to recover my health and to attend to my pro- 
fession again. But hardly a day passed without my receiv- 
ing letters from the 43rd regiment requesting me to enter 
into correspondence with General Halleck and Governor 
Yates in order to remedy their complaints. Other friends, too, 
gave me some trouble. My friend, Lewis B. Parsons, upon 
the recommendation of Governor Yates and myself, had been 
appointed an aide on General Halleck 's staff with the rank 
of captain. Parsons had been an able lawyer at Alton while 
I was judge, and we had become friends. After the Ohio & 
Mississippi Railroad had gone into operation he became one 
of the solicitors of the company, and also, I believe, a director 
and assistant superintendent of transportation. He became 
very fond of railroad management, and soon acquired dis- 
tinction in that line. Early in January he applied to me to 
use my supposed influence with General Halleck to be raised 
in rank. I complied with his request, and, I believe, he was 
raised to the rank of major and placed at the head of the 
transportation business as assistant quartermaster. Halleck 
found him so useful that when he was called to Washington 
to assume general command of all the armies, he took Major 
Parsons along, as a member of his staff. He soon obtained 
the rank of colonel, and later in the war, that of brigadier 
general. He was acting quartermaster general, and acquired 
great distinction for the ability with which he managed all 
the transportation of our armies over the railroads in the 
possession of the Union. 

MEDIATES BETWEEN HALLECK AND SIGEL 

About the 10th of January, it became known that Gen- 
eral Halleck had appointed General G. Curtis, of Iowa, com- 
mander of the Army of Southwest Missouri, which was to 
enter upon a campaign against the Confederates, who, under 
General Price and Generals Van Dorn and McCullough, were 
concentrated near Springfield. This Southwest Missouri 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 197 

Army had been under the command of Sigel ever since the 
retreat of General Hunter in November last, with head- 
quarters at Rolla. Curtis not having had, at that time, an 
opportunity of showing any military ability, and his name 
being consequently quite unknown in the Department of the 
West, his appointment in the place of Sigel created 
an excitement amongst the troops and the Western people 
generally hardly less strong than was caused by the removal 
of Fremont. Almost the entire Republican press denounced 
the step taken by General Halleck, and the Germans in many 
places held indignation meetings in which they passed con- 
demnatory resolutions, and called upon the President to have 
Sigel reinstated or to give him an entire separate command. 

Sigel had instantly resigned, but Halleck had kept his 
resignation back, and did not send it to the War Department, 
the head of which was now Stanton, formerly a staunch 
Democrat, who had, however, held the office of Attorney Gener- 
al towards the end of Buchanan's administration and had 
shown himself a thoroughgoing Union man. 

About the middle of January I received a letter from 
President Lincoln in which he asked me to put myself into 
relations with Generals Halleck and Sigel and try to arrange 
the difficulties between them, if possible, to their mutual sat- 
isfaction. He expressed himself in this letter as being fully 
aware of General Sigel's merits and as regretting deeply his 
resignation, which he said he would not accept unless he was 
forced to do so. He wrote me fully and very kindly of Sigel. 
without, however, expressing any judgment on Halleck 's ac- 
tion, and authorized me, if I thought proper, to show his letter 
to General Halleck. 

Now this was quite a delicate task which Mr. Lincoln had 
laid on me. I could not well insist on Halleck 's removing 
Curtis from the command. Curtis, of course, would have in- 
stantly sent in his resignation ; on the other hand, if Halleck 
refused, and if Lincoln made the change in the command, 
Halleck would have had to resign, for his prestige as com- 



198 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

mander of the department would have been gone, if the change 
were made over his head. Besides, General Curtis was not 
exactly the "nobody" he was represented to be by the friends 
of Sigel. He was a graduate of West Point, but had not re- 
mained long in the service, having removed to Ohio, where, 
at the outbreak of the Mexican War, he was appointed 
colonel of the 2nd Ohio volunteer regiment; he had occu- 
pied himself with civil engineering after his return from 
Mexico, first in Ohio, then in Missouri and Iowa. In the latter 
State he had been elected a member of Congress, but had re- 
signed at the beginning of the war, and was appointed a brig- 
adier-general in May, 1861. Later in the war he was made a 
major-general and commander of the Department of the 
Northwest. 

At the same time I considered General Sigel deeply 
wronged, and could not blame him for having resigned. But 
the loss of his services I considered a great misfortune, and 
was therefore disposed to do my best to keep him in the army. 

I could not well decline the request of the President, and 
I at once sought an interview with General Halleck. I had 
not personally known Halleck before. We had only corres- 
ponded with one another regarding matters of the 43rd reg- 
iment. Not knowing whether Mr. Lincoln had advised him 
of my coming, and finding nothing in the letter which could 
have hurt the General's feelings, I at once handed it to him. 
He read it very attentively, and reflected some time before 
entering upon any explanation. He had, he said, been very 
much misunderstood in regard to his actions toward General 
Sigel. He would tell me at the outset that he had no personal 
prejudice against the latter; that he thought Sigel was an 
officer of merit. Nor had he any Native American feeling. 
His father himself, he said, was a German by birth, had been 
a Protestant minister at Newburg on the Hudson, had come, 
perhaps, from the same State of Baden that Sigel came from, 
that General Curtis was an able man, had had a military edu- 
cation, was a skilful engineer, had served with distinction 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 199 

in the Mexican War, and had resigned his seat in Congress 
to enter the army, and was very popular and influential in 
his State; that his commission as brigadier-general bore the 
same date as that of Sigel, but that in the army register (a 
printed copy of which he afterwards showed me) Curtis 's 
name appeared before that of several others and before Sigel 's, 
and that he only followed in this instance the custom of the 
army, to consider Curtis 's commission as older than the others. 
He w r ould be very glad if I could persuade Sigel not to insist 
on his resignation, which he had held back and not sent to 
Washington. I did not fail to observe on my part that if 
there was such a custom it was more honored in the breach 
than in the observance. Besides, the President had in many 
instances not followed it himself. He had made Grant, for 
instance, a brigadier-general over twenty colonels who had 
held older commissions, and some of whom had held higher 
commissions in the Mexican War than Grant. He spoke, ap- 
parently, with much frankness, remarking, however, that it 
would be at present impossible for him to make a change, but 
that perhaps an opportunity might offer itself very soon to 
recognize Sigel 's merits. 

Sigel was then still in command at Rolla, as his resigna- 
tion had not been accepted. I proposed to General Halleck 
to invite him to come to St. Louis, so that I might have an 
opportunity to learn what he had to say. He consented to 
this, and immediately wrote down a despatch. I also tele- 
graphed Sigel that I had been requested by the President to 
investigate the differences between him and General Halleck, 
and that I should like to see him in St. Louis. 

Sigel came the next day, and gave me a succinct account 
of the late events. After the strange and inexplicable re- 
treat from Springfield under General Hunter one part of 
the army was thrown north on Sedalia, another northeast on 
Rolla. The division at Rolla was under Sigel, he being the 
highest in command. His health being bad, and no immediate 
prospect for action being discernible, he had resorted to St. 



200 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

Louis, urging Halleck to forward a movement with all his 
usual energy. It was determined upon. A large cavalry 
force was ordered forward to reconnoiter. About Christmas 
Sigel reported himself ready for duty, and parted from Gen- 
eral Halleck in the most satisfactory manner, expecting to 
lead the balance of the army against the enemy in a few days. 
No information was thrown out that anybody else would take 
the command from him. On his arrival at Rolla he was 
greeted with the greatest enthusiasm by the men and im- 
mediately set to work to form the brigades and divisions and 
to prepare for the march. A few days afterwards he was 
superseded. 

I told Sigel all that General Halleck had said to me by 
way of explanation ; but Sigel still insisted at that time on his 
resignation. I got Halleck to write to Sigel in the spirit he 
had spoken to me, which, he said, he did; but all that I could 
do with Sigel was to have him promise not to press his resig- 
nation for some time, as the President was very anxious that 
he should not do it. I promised to make a report to Mr. Lin- 
coln that, in my opinion, he was right and Halleck wrong. 
Sigel left again for Rolla, a little more reconciled, I thought, 
than when I first met him. I had intimated to him that his 
friends would take care of him, and that perhaps some higher 
and better position was in store for him. In this I was not 
mistaken, though his promotion came not as fast as might 
have been expected. 

I had hardly returned to Belleville when I received a let- 
ter from Frederick Kapp from Washington City, informing 
me that on the 16th day of January a great mass-meeting of 
Germans had been held in New York in which they had ex- 
pressed their indignation regarding the treatment General 
Sigel had met with ; that the meeting had appointed a delega- 
tion to call on the President at Washington to remonstrate 
against the action of General Halleck superseding Sigel in the 
command of the South Missouri Army by the appointment of 
Curtis, and to ask Mr. Lincoln to give Sigel a more inde- 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 201 

pendent and higher position in the army; that the committee 
had had, on the 23rd of January, an interview with the Pres- 
ident in connection with a deputation of the Germans of Brook- 
lyn, who had come on a similar mission. "The President at 
once informed us, ' ' Mr. Kapp wrote, ' ' that he had written you 
and had asked you to put yourself in communication with Gen- 
eral Halleck and to arrange matters, if possible, to the satisfac- 
tion of both parties. Lincoln said that he would by all means 
like to keep such a valuable man as Sigel in the service, and 
that he would not accept his resignation unless he was abso- 
lutely forced to do so. You may well imagine, ' ' Kapp contin- 
ued, "that we were very much rejoiced at the communication 
of the President, as we know of no one amongst the Germans 
who could with more dignity and more success arrange this 
matter in our interest. We hope that you have accepted the 
President's charge." Mr. Kapp further informed me that 
they proposed to the President to make Sigel a major-general 
and to place him at the head of the German division, at 
present under the command of General Blenker, in the Poto- 
mac Army; that the President seemed inclined to such a 
change, and that I should use my influence with the Presi- 
dent to bring it about. 

In an article which appeared in the "Deutsche Rund- 
schau," a German monthly review published at Berlin, writ- 
ten by Frederick Kapp, in 1881, under the title of "German 
and American Mutual Relations, ' ' he recurs to this interview 
with Mr. Lincoln. 

"In the year 1862," writes Kapp, in the "Rundschau," 
"I with some other political friends was sent to call upon 
President Lincoln to interest him for General Sigel, who at 
that time complained of his removal from command by Gen- 
eral Halleck and had threatened to resign. Lincoln inquired 
very fully and with much interest into the wishes of the Ger- 
man population, and asked us to suggest to him what he could 
do for them and particularly for Sigel. When we asked him 
to appoint him general of a division and to entrust him with 
a command independent of Halleck, he thought he could not 
do that all at once, but that he had begged Governor Koerner 



202 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

to inquire into the matter and report to him. 'I have known 
Koerner,' the President said, 'for more than twenty years, 
and I subscribe in advance to anything he proposes. As he 
is your countryman, you may feel convinced that he will judge 
matters justly.' Naturally we were well pleased with this 
action of the President. Koerner undertook the charge, made 
his report in our favor, and Sigel was made a major-general 
in a few weeks, and not long afterwards was made a com- 
mander of an army corps." 

Mr. Kapp was somewhat mistaken. I had the promise 
of Mr. Lincoln that Sigel should be made a major-general 
before the battle of Pea Ridge, but he was appointed such 
after the battle, which was really won by Sigel. It was true, 
however, that Sigel very soon afterwards was transferred to 
the East and became commander of the First Army Corps, 
and as such, distinguished himself at the battle of Cedar 
Mountain and the second battle of Bull Run. 

I have already stated that I succeeded in persuading Sigel 
not to press his resignation. In the meantime I made my re- 
port to President Lincoln. I expressed my opinion, that the 
argument of General Halleck, consisting in the fact that 
Curtis 's name preceded that of Sigel on the army roll, was, 
considering all the circumstances, wholly inadmissible; that 
Halleck could not but have known that Sigel had the full 
confidence of his troops, his own and that of General Asboth's 
division; that thousands of Germans had enlisted only in the 
hope of serving under him; that he had induced Halleck to 
undertake this early campaign and had made his troops ready 
for an immediate march on Springfield; that Sigel had been 
over Southwest Missouri four times, had perfect knowledge 
of the ground, and that there was no military position which 
he had not heretofore explored and mapped. I recommended 
his appointment as major-general so as to rank Curtis. I 
took occasion to observe to Mr. Lincoln that even policy would 
require allaying in some way or another the feeling of dis- 
satisfaction now existing in the Department of the West. I 
made no secret of my views in the several conversations I had 
with General Halleck on the subject. 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 203 

Sigel had: gone back to Rolla. But he became impatient, 
and wrote me on the 27th of January: 

"In spite of everything I will march forward to Spring- 
field with my torn and decimated division, and will do what 
I can to liberate the Southwest and with it Missouri. I hope 
you will do what is possible to bring the business of my resig- 
nation to a speedy decision ; for it is a question of life with me. 
In this condition of suspense I have neither the necessary 
spirit nor the necessary power to do anything important. I 
long to be rid of this uncertain, painful situation." 

I immediately communicated to him the contents of 
Kapp's letter, which I had received after he had left St. 
Louis for Rolla, which, of course, proved very satisfactory to 
him. I also informed him of my report, and that, besides, 
I had received assurances from Mr. Lincoln through friends 
in Washington, that he would nominate him major-general. 
So Sigel did not insist upon his resignation, and went into 
the campaign under Curtis. 

I may remark here that, his assurance to the contrary 
notwithstanding, Halleck did have, or did very soon conceive 
a great prejudice against Sigel, and during the course of the 
war showed it more than once. General Grant also was hostile 
to him, and in his Memoirs threw a slur on him by publishing 
a very bitter despatch of Halleck 's about SigeFs fight in the 
Shenandoah Valley. General Grant ought to have recollected 
how very cruelly Halleck had treated him after Donelson and 
Shiloh in his despatches to the War Department. 

In my conversation with General Halleck, he vaguely 
expressed a wish to have me on his staff ; but, by speaking of 
my still very poor health, I in a manner sought to avoid a 
positive refusal. To my surprise, I received on the 12th of 
February, a letter from L. B. Parsons, who was, as I have be- 
fore remarked, on the staff, in which amongst other things 
he stated, that he could say with entire truth that, if I did 
not choose to accept the position of brigadier-general, I could 
be of great service to the country and the cause of the Union 
by taking a position General Halleck was so desirous I should 



204 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

take, as a member of his military family. In such a position 
I could, he said, pay more regard to my health and family. 

I replied to Mr. Parsons that for obvious reasons I should 
not like to be on the staff of the General; that, besides, I did 
not think it would be prudent for me to enter the army again ; 
that my physician had advised me, considering the state of 
my nervous system, to avoid all excitement if possible, and 
to keep as quiet as I could. He had spoken very strongly, 
and had called it madness for me even to think of going into 
the army again, at least for some months. What was my as- 
tonishment when I received a line from General Halleck, beg- 
ging me to come over and see him at headquarters. I went, 
and he at once placed in my hands a new commission as an 
aide-de-camp in the service of the United States with the rank 
of colonel, beginning from the 2nd of February, 1862. In 
the same envelope was a communication asking me to send 
my acceptance, if I should accept, to the Adjutant-General 
at Washington at once. There was no direction to report to 
General Halleck, or to any other general. I had not asked 
for such an appointment, nor had I received the slightest 
indication of receiving one. Halleck congratulated me, but 
I asked time for consideration, mentioning the state of my 
health, and what the doctors thought about it. He observed 
that he would not take the field for some months. Headquar- 
ters would remain here. I could perform my work here as 
conveniently as in my office ; and that he would be exceedingly 
glad if I would come on his staff. Of course I thanked him 
for the interest he seemed to take in me, but made no certain 
promise. I never found out how the President came to make 
this new appointment, and I had only a dim surmise of what 
made Halleck so anxious for me to be on his staff, after he 
knew what position I had taken in the Sigel difficulty. 

DEMOCRATS IN THE UNION ARMY 

I also wrote to the Assistant Adjutant-General, Colonel 
Garesche, that I had taken the acceptance under advisement. 
The aspect of our public affairs continued to be very gloomy 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 205 

during the first months of the year. McClellan had organized 
an army leaving the enemy unmolested in its fortifications 
at Manassas Junction, a few miles only from the Capital. 
Tennessee was in the hands of the Confederates, and also a 
large part of Kentucky, threatening Cincinnati and Louis- 
ville. The Mississippi River was closed up below the mouth 
of the Ohio by strong forts, and the extreme southeast and the 
southwest and western part of Missouri were occupied by the 
rebels. Cameron, whose removal had been so loudly demanded 
by the people for the last six months, had resigned in the mid- 
dle of January. But now the radical Republicans denounced 
Lincoln ; for in his report in December Cameron had strongly 
reported in favor of emancipation and of an army of slaves 
in the seceded States, but had to modify it by order of the 
President before it was distributed. It was charged that he 
had been forced to resign on that account. That the lifelong 
Democrat Stanton had been appointed in his place, created 
also great dissatisfaction. A general alarm was sounded in 
the radical press that the cause of the Union was placed in 
the hands of Democrats who had joined the Republican party. 
A Springfield paper complained that nearly all the brigadiers 
appointed from Illinois, Grant, Prentiss, Palmer, and Hurlbut 
were Democrats, that out of seventy regiments Illinois had in 
the field in January, 1862, forty-four had Democratic colonels, 
and that their staff-officers were also mostly Democrats. I 
cannot vouch for the entire correctness of this statement, 
save that it was true in the main, and natural enough, for 
Southern Illinois had turned out a great many more volun- 
teers than the North. The three Belleville regiments, the 
9th, 22nd, and the 43rd, were made up of and officered almost 
exclusively by men who had been Democrats before the Re- 
publican party was formed in 1856, and the regiments of 
John A. Logan, William R. Morrison, Colonel Lawler, Colonel 
Fouke, Colonel Haine, and Colonel Hicks, were principally 
made up of Union Democrats. Other Republican organs, 
speaking of the army, asserted that of the six major-generals 



206 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

but one was Republican, that amongst one hundred and ten 
brigadier generals, eighty were Democrats. This may not have 
been accurate. 

It is indeed a remarkable fact that during the whole war 
the most noted generals were of Democratic antecedents. 
McClellan, once commander of all the armies of the Union, 
was still a Democrat when he entered the army. Sheridan 
was of the same politics. Sherman being a man of rather 
erratic character, his politics at any one time were not easily 
ascertained. But as he was in 1860 appointed director of the 
newly established military academy in Louisiana, it is but 
reasonable to suppose that at that period he was a Democrat. 
General Halleck, as well as General Fremont, had been 
Democrats, and so were Major-Generals Burnside, Buell, 
Hancock, Rosecrans, Heinzelmann, Fitz-John Porter, Philip 
Kearney, John A. Dix, Hooker, Merritt, Corse and many oth- 
ers of the regular army. Among the major-generals of volun- 
teers were counted James Shields, John M. Palmer, Frank P. 
Blair, John A. Logan, Francis Sigel, Philip Osterhaus, Carl 
Schurz, Benjamin F. Butler, and Daniel Sickles, and among the 
brigadier-generals Willich, Steinwehr and Salomon, all for- 
merly Democrats. 

I had occasion already to observe that the accession of 
Democrats to the Republican party gave to it impetus and 
aggressiveness, which carried the party to victory, first in 
nearly all the Northern States, and finally conquered the 
Presidency. It does seem also that they were quite well rep- 
resented in the army. 

Not long ago, in reading Henry Ward Beecher's life, I 
came across a passage in which long after the war he expressed 
his opinion of the Union Democratic party. 

"There was," he said, "a great party (1863) made up 
differently from all foregoing parties. Old lines were effaced, 
old questions sank to the bottom, and the one question that 
united the strongest elements, discordant in every respect, was 
the wise determination to maintain intact the Union of the 
whole country. That formed the band and belt that gave 



207 

unity to the party of war, and carried the great Democratic 
party into their ranks. The largest part and the noblest 
joined themselves to the party of the Union, and better men 
never came from any party than those that formed under 
our banner, bearing briefly and for a time the name of Repub- 
licans, but very largely going back again, after the war was 
over, to the Democratic party." 

GENERAL UNION ADVANCE 

President Lincoln at last lost his patience at the inac- 
tivity of our armies which, nearly half a million strong, were 
scattered along a line of more than a thousand miles, reach- 
ing from Kansas to the Potomac. On the 28th of January 
(1862) he issued his memorable order that a general move- 
ment of all our armies against the insurgent forces should 
take place on the 27th of February, and that the general-in- 
chief with all other commands and subordinates of land and 
naval forces would be held to their strict and full responsi- 
bility for the prompt execution of this order. 

This order was hailed with delight and even before the 
appointed day forward movements took place. On the 6th 
of February Fort Henry on the Tennessee River, protecting 
the access into Tennessee, was taken by the army and navy 
hitherto stationed at Cairo by order of General Halleck. 
Grant commanded the land-forces, about 35,000 men, and 
Commodore Foote the navy, consisting of several iron-cased 
gun-boats, which General Fremont had ordered to be con- 
structed while he was in command of the Western Department. 
After an hour's cannonading by the fleet the fort surrend- 
ered with its garrison of artillerymen; but the infantry- 
forces of the enemy, 4000 strong, posted on high ground in 
the rear of the fort, made good their retreat, Grant's troops, 
consisting of two divisions of Illinois infantry, coming up too 
late to impede their flight. Grant blamed Foote for having 
been too hasty in his attack, Foote charging upon Grant that 
he had been too slow in coming up, he, Foote, having engaged 
the enemy at the time previously agreed upon. Our loss was 
principally owing to an accident, the boiler of the gun-boat 



208 

Essex having been struck by a ball from the fort, the explo- 
sion of which killed or seriously wounded some forty of the 
crew. Only a dozen or so of the crews of the other boats were 
killed or wounded. The 43rd and the 9th regiments were 
among the troops in the expedition against Fort Henry, which 
was now named Fort Foote. 

FORT DONELSON 

The next move was on Fort Donelson. Very much to the 
dissatisfaction of the 43rd regiment, it was left with some 
other regiments at Fort Henry to guard it against recapture 
by the Confederate forces at Columbus. The 9th regiment, 
Col. Mersy, however, belonging to General Smith's division, 
and part of the forces under General Grant, on the 12th, com- 
menced the investment of Fort Donelson with about 15,000 
men ; after having marched by land from Fort Henry to Fort 
Donelson, a distance of about 12 miles, and waiting for an 
equal force to come up by the Tennessee River with the gun- 
boats. The division of McClernand formed the right wing of 
the army and consisted entirely of Illinois regiments. It was 
evidently not the intention of General Grant to assault the 
works until the gun-boats and the other half of his command 
had arrived. It is unaccountable therefore that on the 13th 
the right wing attacked the enemy's impregnable intrench- 
ments, extending from the fort up the river and securing the 
communication with Nashville and their line of retreat. The 
enemy were in the woods, and before them they had made a 
perfect bulwark by felling trees and throwing up earthworks. 
Yet some one must have ordered the move on those abattis 
and rifle-pits. Three Illinois regiments were more than deci- 
mated in this foolish attempt, Morrison's, Logan's and 
Haine's. Morrison was severely wounded in the hip and car- 
ried from the field. John A. Logan was also wounded. Why 
General Grant did not stop the fight which he had not ordered, 
has remained unexplained. Of course, the assault was 
repulsed; the enemy hardly suffering any loss. 

On the 14th the gun-boats made an unsuccessful attempt 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 209 

to reduce the fort. The rebel batteries were so skilfully con- 
structed that they suffered hardly any loss, while within a 
few hours they disabled three ironclads, and the whole fleet 
retired. The right wing, which had suffered so severely, had 
been reinforced by a portion of the first division under Gen- 
eral Smith, by Arthur 's and Lew Wallace 's brigades. The 
9th belonged to Arthur's. On the 15th, early in the morning, 
the enemy with a view of breaking through the investment 
made a furious attack on our men, but met with the most 
obstinate resistance. Then, drawing additional forces from 
the fort, they, after, a most sanguinary contest, finally drove 
our men from the field, though the latter retreated in good 
order. The 9th fought most desperately, and did not retire 
until they had spent their last cartridge. It had only eight 
companies in the fight. One had been left as provost-guard 
at Paducah ; another had been detached to support a battery. 
It went into the fight with 600 men and came out of it with 
a loss of 195 killed and wounded and many made prisoners. 
A battery was also lost, and the enemy claimed to have gath- 
ered many thousand stands of arms on the battlefield in the 
morning. In the afternoon, however, large reinforcements 
arrived, and nearly the whole ground lost in the morning 
was recovered, while at the same time General Smith with his 
part of the division succeeded in taking a strong redoubt of 
the fort itself. About 3,000 rebels under General Floyd 
escaped from the fort by the river, and the next morning 
General Buckner with about 12,000 men, being, as he claimed, 
surrounded by 50,000 Union troops, surrendered uncondi- 
tionally. 

A great many of our St. Glair boys were killed or 
wounded ; amongst the wounded officers were Hamilton Lieber, 
a son of the distinguished Francis Lieber. He had entered 
the regiment while he was residing at Lebanon. His arm 
had to be amputated. Our loss in killed and wounded 
amounted to at least 5,000 men, while not more than about 
30,000 had taken part in the battle. This was really the first 



210 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

great important victory of the Union Army. As it was prin- 
cipally won by Illinoisans, it raised the name of our State 
greatly in the estimation of the people. Meetings were held 
in the East, tendering highly complimentary resolutions to the 
State and its gallant sons. A friend of Mr. Lincoln, speaking 
of this success, said: "This magnificent success electrified 
the country, and Mr. Lincoln, whose face had been careworn 
and anxious, looked ten years younger the evening of the 
reception of the news." 

OTHER SUCCESSES OF THE UNION ARMY 

The success of our army at Donelson was soon followed 
by another at Pea Ridge, Arkansas ; General Curtis command- 
ing the Union forces. The battle was won principally by 
Sigel on the second day. The 12th Missouri under Col. 
Osterhaus gained here its first laurels, and sustained its repu- 
tation as one of the best regiments in the army through the 
war. Sigel was made major-general, and soon after, Oster- 
haus being made a brigadier-general, our friend Hugo 
Wangelin became colonel. General Halleck himself expressed 
to me his admiration of that regiment, and thought Oster- 
haus one of the most intelligent and dashing officers in the 
service. As many of our friends from Belleville and our 
nephews Frederick and Joseph Ledergerber and cousin Troi- 
lus Tyndale were in that regiment, we took of course a great 
interest in its career. In that battle there were six Illinois 
regiments and some Illinois batteries. 

General Osterhaus, addressing me respecting his promo- 
tion to the brigadier-generalship, in which I was taking a 
lively interest with the President, speaks of his regiment hi 
the following terms: "Of my regiment, the 12th Missouri, 
although it consists more than one-half of Illinoisans, one 
has a right to be proud. There was no better at Pea Ridge. 
Wangelin, Kaercher, Affleck, Joseph Ledergerber, (Fritz Led- 
ergerber had been left behind to escort a convoy,) Andel, 
Engelmann, Kircher, Tyndale, Kessler, all young soldiers, 
stood and fought like veterans." Troilus Tyndale had been 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 211 

badly wounded in the leg. Some of our Belleville friends 
went down and brought him and other severely wounded 
Belleville boys home. Tyndale suffered greatly, as he was 
not willing to have his leg amputated, and it took nearly a 
year before he was able to use his limb. 

General Burnside had also about this time obtained pos- 
session of some very important points on the coast of North 
Carolina. General G. H. Thomas of the regular army, who 
turned out to be one of our very best generals, had defeated 
Zollikoffer in East Kentucky, at Mill Spring. The latter, a 
highly accomplished and very brave gentleman, was killed 
in a hand-to-hand fight in that battle, being shot down by 
Colonel Frye, of a loyal Kentucky regiment. New Madrid 
in the most southeasterly part of Missouri was taken by Gen- 
eral Pope, on the 13th of March; and a Confederate strong- 
hold, Island No. 10, which closed up the Mississippi to our 
fleet, was invested. 

These various and uniform successes of our armies within 
a few weeks raised the strongest hopes of a speedy end of the 
war. "When I visited Colonel Morrison at St. Louis on his 
sick-bed, he himself, who is the least sanguine man almost 
I ever knew, considered the war as over ; and General Halleck 
was nearly of the same opinion. Perhaps at no stage of the 
war prior to Sherman's march through Georgia was our peo- 
ple so confident of a speedy restoration of the Union as on the 
Ides of March of this year. 

APPOINTED MINISTER TO SPAIN 

On the 25th of March I received the following letter from 
Senator Trumbull: 

"Dear Governor: Schurz is to receive the appointment 
of brigadier-general, and you are to succeed him. I take great 
pleasure in being able to communicate this fact to you. I 
think there will be no slip or mistake in the matter. I expect 
Schurz 's name to be sent to the Senate tomorrow, and yours 
to follow as soon as he is confirmed." 



212 

Carl Schurz had been appointed minister to Spain in 
March, 1861. He tarried, however, a long while before he 
left the country; and went first to Germany, where he left 
his family, arriving in Madrid late in June. He remained 
there only a few months, leaving in November, and in Janu- 
ary made his appearance again in the United States. It was 
soon known that he solicited a military appointment, but for 
some reason or another the President did not make it until the 
25th of March. 

Considering the hopeful condition of our affairs, as also 
the state of my health, I must say that I was glad of the news 
received. I at once decided to accept the appointment, when 
it would be offered. I had never entered the army for the 
sake of winning military renown, and, even if I had done so, 
the prospect just at that time of an opportunity to attain some 
glory was very faint. Consequently, I at once declined to 
accept the new appointment of aide-de-camp, which had been 
made in February, and informed Mr. Trumbull that I would 
accept the mission to Spain. 

I had kept the matter a secret, however, to every one 
except Sophie, and Mr. Trumbull, as he afterwards informed 
me, spoke to no one about it except to his colleague, Senator 
Browning. I presume, however, that Mr. Lincoln himself 
was more communicative. At any rate, it leaked out that T 
was to be sent to Spain in place of Schurz, and letters of con- 
gratulation became the order of the day. Now again some- 
thing very unpleasant to me and my family happened. 
Schurz 's nomination for brigadier-general, being subject to 
the Senate's approval, met with some opposition and hung 
fire for a time. After it was confirmed, Schurz became ill, 
and asked to be allowed time to consider whether he would 
accept it or not, not resigning his Spanish mission. Of 
course, Mr. Lincoln could not appoint me to a place not 
vacant. My friends in Washington bitterly complained that 
the President allowed Mr. Schurz such a long time to make 
up his mind. In fact, it was not before the 16th of June 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 213 

that Schurz resigned. The same day I was nominated, and a 
short time afterward my nomination was confirmed by the 
Senate. This state of uncertainty from the end of March 
to the middle of June was very trying indeed, and if it had 
not been that I was again very ill with various diseases, (an 
inflammation of the eyes amongst them,) which made us very 
anxious for a change of climate and for escaping the constant 
state of excitement of the war, I should have signified to the 
President my non-acceptance, even if a vacancy should occur. 

UNION CHECK AT SHILOH 

After Donelson, Grant moved his army around to the 
Tennessee River near Savannah and Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., 
with a view of moving on Corinth, Miss., which had been 
strongly fortified and was a railroad center on the Mobile and 
Ohio Road, from which troops could be sent east and also 
south to Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Colum- 
bus, Kentucky. I received letters from officers of the 43rd 
from time to time. On the 28th of March, amongst other 
things relating to their movements backwards and forward 
since Donelson, Colonel Raith wrote me: 

"I expect some political capital was made of our being 
left behind at Fort Henry; but we have all got reconciled to 
being left, as there was rather considerable militia general- 
ship displayed there ; and as none of us belong to the mutual 
admiration society we should have got but little credit, if we 
had done anything. I am afraid Papa Lincoln is making 
generals too fast. If the war lasts much longer, some of them 
he has made will last no longer than the next general engage- 
ment. Some of them have at least sense enough to keep mili- 
tary men as their aides. We are encamped about eight miles 
above Savannah, Tenn., on the west side of the river, in very 
fine timber. There must be at least 60,000 troops here. The 
camp talk is that we shall wait here until Buell comes up with 
his command. The health of the men is getting better. It 
was rather bad as long as we were on the boats. We are in 
very good spirits and as harmonious as ever, and keep the men 
in first rate discipline; and they all feel comfortable and 



214 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

proud in comparison with some of the regiments around us. 
Give my respects to all inquiring friends. 

"Yours respectfully, 

"J. Raith." 

This was probably the last letter the noble soldier wrote 
in his life. 

On the 6th of April, 1862 (Sunday morning), the Con- 
federates, with about 45,000 men, A. Sidney Johnston, com- 
mander-in-chief , and under the lead of Beauregard and Gen- 
erals Bragg, Hardee, Polk and Breckenridge (a former Vice- 
President), surprised our army, then of about equal strength, 
(one division of 5,000 men by mistake of orders not coming 
up until late in the evening), and, in spite of very obstinate 
fighting by most of our men, drove us from our position some 
two and one-half miles west of the landing to very near the 
river, and would have routed us completely if two divisions 
of Buell 's army had not arrived late in the evening and if our 
gunboats had not somewhat stopped their rush by throwing 
shells into their ranks. 

Next morning, the Lew Wallace division having arrived 
and two more from Buell's army, the battle was renewed. 
The Confederates disputed every inch of ground most des- 
perately; but of course, being utterly exhausted and over- 
powered by numbers, at last retired about noon. Our old 
position near Shiloh was recovered; but the severe fighting 
for thirty-six hours, and the passing of the night in a cold and 
heavy shower, had told terribly on our men, and no serious 
pursuit was attempted. The Koerner regiment suffered 
severely. It went into battle with about 525 men only, many 
being in the hospital or on detached service; and it appears 
from the revised reports in the official publication, ' ' The War 
of the Rebellion," that its aggregate loss amounted to 197 
men. Five officers were killed outright and seven wounded. 
The Ninth regiment also suffered severely. One officer was 
killed, and nineteen wounded, amongst the latter Colonel 
Mersy, Captain Kaefner, and our nephew Fritz Scheel, 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 215 

severely. The regiment went into battle with about 600 men. 
Its aggregate loss was 306. 

As these two regiments contained many soldiers from 
Belleville and its neighborhood, the losses, which were even 
at first somewhat exaggerated, spread a gloom over our little 
city. Colonel Raith was struck with a minie ball early in 
the day while forming the brigade in line of battle, the com- 
mand falling upon him on account of the absence of its briga- 
dier-general. He was carried back by four men, but insisted 
on being left, as he suffered immensely in being moved; tell- 
ing his men they had better go and fight than watch him. He 
was not found when our regiment fell back with the rest of 
the army, and was discovered only next morning when the 
camps were retaken. Everything was then done to save him. 
He had been well treated by the rebels, had been put in a tent, 
but had lost too much blood to get over the amputation of his 
leg ; and he died a few days afterwards. His death was uni- 
versally regretted. He was a natural soldier, stern in the 
service, but, out of it, of the most jovial and social disposition. 
Brave and cool, he enjoyed the utmost confidence of his men. 
The regiment was under fire for the first time. In describing 
the battle, a correspondent of one of the New York leading 
papers, speaking of the flight of our advance troops, stated, 
that the first serious and obstinate resistance to the rush of the 
rebels was offered by the 43rd of Illinois. 

General McClernand, who commanded the first division, 
to which the 43rd belonged, who, however, was in the habit 
of writing pretty high-flown reports, spoke of it in the highest 
terms in many parts of his report. I will give only a few pas- 
sages : 

"Colonel Raith, having completed his line, ordered a 
charge upon the enemy, in which he fell mortally wounded 
while encouraging his men by his heroic and daring example. 
Besides Colonel Raith, several other officers were killed or 
wounded in this charge." 



216 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Speaking of another scene of the battle, McClernand 
writes : 

"Here Colonel Hare, commanding the first brigade, Col- 
onel March, the second, and Lieutenant-Colonel Engelmann, 
the third, heedless of danger, led their men to the charge, 
amid the storm of bullets and in the face of the battery. . . . 
Colonels Hare and Crocker, who successfully commanded the 
first brigade, and Colonel Raith and Lieutenant-Colonel Engel- 
mann, who successfully commanded the third brigade, distin- 
guished themselves by the coolness, courage and skill with 
which they managed their men. Colonel Raith, falling an 
honored martyr in a just cause, will be mourned by his friends 
and adopted country." 

Col. M. Arthur, who commanded the brigade to which the 
9th Illinois belonged, made no report; but from all accounts 
it appeared that this regiment distinguished itself greatly 
on the battle-field. Its losses alone would show it. 

Our loss was immense, 15,000 killed and wounded, prin- 
cipally on the first day, when we had only about forty-five 
thousand men on the field. While of course there was rejoic- 
ing over the victory, it was in the language of the chaplain 
of the 9th regiment, Marion Morrison, "a dearly bought vic- 
tory." "There was," he writes, in his history of the 9th 
regiment, "a very decided feeling that somebody was at 
fault; that the rebels had completely surprised our army; 
that pickets were out but a very short distance. General 
Grant, as chief in command, was found fault with, that he 
had disobeyed orders and landed his men on the wrong side 
of the river." 

Indeed, when the accounts of those who were present at 
Shiloh were heard, a deep feeling of indignation pervaded the 
nation. Had it not been for the most strenuous efforts of 
"Washburne, who stood very high at Washington, and the fact 
that General C. J. Smith, the real hero of Donelson, was then 
about dying, there is no doubt but Grant would have been 
deprived of his command. Superseded he was, in a manner; 
for very soon General Halleck took chief command of the 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 217 

Army of Western Tennessee; and as Grant himself says, in 
his Memoirs, he did not know what position he was in for sev- 
eral months. He never made a full report of the battle, but 
only a preliminary one, in which he promised to make one 
more fully when the reports of the division commanders were 
handed in. He took occasion, however, to pass a very high 
encomium on General Sherman, who, of course, duly recipro- 
cated. During the whole war there was a high degree of 
mutual admiration displayed between these two generals, 
which, while it was a good policy, at the same time was not 
without great benefit to the country. Sherman undertook to 
prove in his report, newspaper articles, and in his Memoirs, 
that everything was right and proper ; that there was no sur- 
prise whatever ; that his division at least held on pretty close 
to its position at Shiloh meeting-house in the center; that, in 
placing the army on the west side of the river, Grant acted 
according to military science. Grant in his Memoirs hardly 
thinks that he was beaten on the first day, averring that after 
Lew Wallace's division had arrived in the evening he could 
have attacked the enemy next morning and would surely have 
beaten them. All idea of surprise was denied by both. When 
they wrote their memoirs they seemed to have forgotten their 
own reports. 

On the 5th of April, one day before the battle, General 
Grant informed General Halleck that the outposts had been 
attacked by the enemy apparently in considerable force. "I 
immediately went up, but found all quiet. I have scarcely 
the faintest idea of an attack (a general one) being made 
upon us, but will be prepared, should such a thing take 
place. ' ' 

His headquarters were then, strange to say, some ten 
miles below, at Savannah, to which place he returned; the 
letter being dated Savannah. 

Now it was well known, and published in all the papers, 
that the Confederates had united at Corinth a large force, 
estimated at from 60,000 to 70,000 men, under some most 



218 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

distinguished commanders. The distance from Corinth to 
Pittsburg Landing is less than twenty miles. Grant was wait- 
ing for General Buell with the army of the Ohio to join him, 
in order to attack the enemy at Corinth, for which purpose 
he did not think his own army sufficient. But could he have 
reasonably supposed that the Confederates, finding him posted 
with a comparatively small army on the wrong side of the 
river, would wait until Buell should come up ? It is true, the 
original purpose of the Confederates was to await an attack 
on their stronghold. They had expected that the junction 
with Buell would take place sooner. Bad roads delayed him. 
No sooner was this found out, than they concluded very wisely 
to strike a blow before his arrival. The plan was to assault 
us on the morning of the 5th. Fortunately for us, there was 
some mistake of orders. Two divisions took the same road 
and obstructed one another, so that they arrived only late in 
the evening within a few miles of the Shiloh Plain, where the 
left wing and center of our army were stationed. Had they 
made the same attack on Saturday, Grant would have been 
routed, and not only one division but nearly all would have 
been captured. 

The idea advanced by Sherman that the army was in the 
right position west of the river, having the big river at its 
back, and that this was according to military science, is almost 
grotesque. As Grant did not intend 'to attack before having 
Buell 's corps with him, what use was it for him to cross the 
river which was commanded by our gun-boats and full of 
steamers for transportation? Behind that river he could 
have let his troops rest day and night, without the slightest 
fear of an attack. 

The idea of General Grant that he could have got along 
without Buell is contradicted by General Sherman's report, 
who gives due credit to the army of the Ohio for their action 
late in the evening of the first day and the day following. 
As to the surprise, Sherman says : ' ' On Saturday the enemy 
was again very bold, coming well down to our front ; yet I did 



219 

not believe that he designed anything but a strong demonstra- 
tion." It is only necessary to read the reports of the brigade 
and regimental commanders to become satisfied that the com- 
mander-in-chief and General Sherman were certainly guilty 
of gross carelessness. A few regiments from Ohio, just ar- 
rived, entirely undrilled, who had got their arms only a few 
days before, had been placed before the center and left wing. 
When the enemy's force rushed upon them, they naturally 
ran, and were seen no more that day ; so their own brigadier 
reported. They ran through the lines of the 43rd and 49th 
Illinois and could not be rallied. 

The reports of the Confederate commander-in-chief , Beau- 
regard, who took the place of that most distinguished officer, 
Albert Sidney Johnston, who was killed while leading in per- 
son a wavering brigade to an assault, and of the other generals 
and colonels, are far fuller and more explicit than ours. All 
agree that they surprised the enemy. Col. Wm. Preston, 
predecessor of Schurz in Spain, adjutant-general of Gen. 
Johnston, writes : ' ' On the afternoon of the 5th our advance 
was within three miles of the enemy, who evidently did not 
suspect that we were in force in the neighborhood. ' ' Another 
officer reports that they took the enemy by surprise, eating 
their breakfast in their tents. 

The report of Colonel Engelmann, of which General 
Buell, in his review of the battle and in his refutation of 
Grant's and Sherman's accounts, published in the "Century 
Magazine," speaks as one of the clearest of all the reports 
made, states, concerning the commencement of the battle, 
that when he rode to the 49th regiment on the left to order 
out this regiment instantly, (brisk firing being heard within a 
short distance from its color line, but the place from where 
the firing came being concealed by the forest,) his orders to 
turn out were met by the inquiry, "For what purpose?" 
The feeling that the enemy was abroad was so general that 
he was also much affected by it, and rode forward in the direc- 
tion from which the firing proceeded in order to make cer- 



220 

tain of it. Returning, he found his regiment already hotly 
engaged with the enemy. "At this time," the report states, 
"large numbers of our troops, belonging to Prentiss's and 
Sherman 's divisions, heretofore in front of us, retired through 
our lines, and it was impossible to induce them to rally upon 
us." I have heard myself from a dozen of our soldiers who 
were in the fight that nearly one half of our army were 
promiscuously huddled together in the afternoon down on the 
river bank at the foot of the bluffs, anxious to be taken across 
to save their lives. Of course, most of them, when the morn- 
ing dawned, and our army had been reinforced by 20,000 
fresh troops, came up again, and did good fighting on the next 
day. 

The following report to the War Department at Wash- 
ington by Gen. Halleck, dated as late as the 24th of April at 
Pittsburg Landing, when he must of course have received 
abundant information from all classes of officers and men, is 
not complimentary, and clearly shows that the accounts by 
the responsible commanding officers were doctored so as to 
shift the responsibility. "The sad casualties of Sunday, the 
6th, were due in part to the bad conduct of officers who were 
utterly unfit for their places, and in part to the number and 
bravery of the enemy. I prefer to express no opinion in 
regard to the misconduct of individuals until I receive the 
reports of commanders of divisions." 

Next to Julius Raith the loss of no one was more regret- 
ted in the regiment and by his friends and by the people of 
Belleville generally than that of Francis Grimm, who was 
shot through the head and killed instantly. He was a young 
man of liberal culture, and an able writer, who, as the editor 
of the ' ' Belleviller Zeitung," had done excellent service in 
the Republican cause, and was enthusiastically devoted to lib- 
erty and the Union. It was a death, however, such as he 
would have wished to die. 

A week or so after the battle, the corpse of Colonel Raith 
arrived at Belleville. It was laid in state for twenty-four 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 221 

hours in the large court house hall. A guard of honor from 
the Home Guards' Battalion watched the coffin, covered with 
flags and flowers. He was buried at the paternal farm on 
Turkey Hill. I expressed my own deep feelings, and those 
of the great concourse of people who stood around, over his 
grave. A nephew of his, a son of August Hassel, fell in the 
same battle. 

My friend Shields, who had come from California, offer- 
ing his services to the Union, and who had been appointed 
brigadier-general in August, 1861, and given command of a 
division at Winchester, successfully repulsed in March Stone- 
wall Jackson at Kearnstown, but had his usual bad luck in 
being again pretty badly wounded in the arm. In June, he 
took part in the campaign against Jackson in the Shenandoah 
Valley; Banks, Fremont and Shields commanding different 
corps. But Jackson escaped, and came up in time to help 
defeat McOlellan before Richmond. 

After Fremont's recall from the Department of the 
West, a Congressional committee investigated the charges of 
mal-administration in his department which had been made 
against him. He was fully vindicated, and the committee rec- 
ommended his immediate appointment to another command. 
He was entrusted with a corps to guard the Shenandoah Val- 
ley. I had written to him on behalf of a young friend of 
mine, Charles W. Thomas of Belleville, who had been in his 
body-guard, and who desired to be placed in a cavalry regi- 
ment under Fremont. He replied to me on the 8th of April 
from Wheeling, Virginia: 

' ' I was pleased to hear from you by your note of the 26th, 
and am sorry to learn that your health is not yet fully 
reestablished. Concerning Mr. Thomas, the most that it is 
in my power to do, is to get him a commission in a cavalry 
regiment, if I succeed in getting one formed for Col. Zagenyi 
out of some fractional corps. If not, I think he had better 
accept a non-commissioned officer's place in a battery for the 
present, which would have him in the way for the better. 
Pray, inform him. I thank you sincerely for your intention 



222 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

to have gone to Washington to aid me in ray recent struggle 
there. It gives me pleasure to know that I can count on 
your friendship. I trust that somewhere we shall be able 
to work together in some friendly relation. Meantime, etc." 

Some charges made against Fremont concerning con- 
tracts, I was able to refute. They were made by disappointed 
contractors, and were utterly groundless. I had proposed to 
the General to appear before the committee ; but in the mean- 
time the committee had already acquitted him of the charges. 

FURTHER MOVEMENTS OF THE UNION ARMIES 

General Halleck took the field a few days after Shiloh 
battle, and at a snail's pace moved on to Corinth, cautiously 
entrenching himself while advancing. A few severe skir- 
mishes took place on the picket-lines and on the Confederate 's 
right flank. At last, coming near the fortifications, he set to 
work for a regular siege. After having completed his 
arrangements for a general assault on the place, having been 
reinforced by General Pope's army from, Missouri, the 30th 
of May was fixed upon to attack the works of Corinth. To 
the surprise of everybody, when day dawned, it was found 
that the place had been completely evacuated, all the stores, 
train-supplies, and in fact every piece of valuable military 
property, had been leisurely and quietly removed days before, 
and the last men of the Confederate army had left in the 
night ; the stuff they did not want to bring off having been 
set fire to and consumed when our troops entered. In fact, it 
took a day or two before our commanders found out where 
the rebels had gone to. To make this taking of Corinth still 
more comical, a violent dispute arose in the reports of the 
officers and in the newspapers as to which of the divisions 
belonged the glory of having first discovered that the works 
were empty and of having first entered them. Take it all 
around, this siege of Corinth, lasting about twenty days, was 
in the nature of an opera bouffe performance. 

Memphis had been occupied by our Mississippi fleet, and 
New Orleans about the same time by our troops under the 



WITH FREMONT IN MISSOURI 223 

command of General B. F. Butler, after Commodore Foote 
had forced the channels of the Mississippi. We had made 
progress in Arkansas. But the attention of the public was 
soon most particularly directed towards the operations of our 
great Army of the Potomac under McClellan on the Virginian 
Peninsula and before Richmond. Some of the Illinois regi- 
ments were in the Potomac army, but none in the fate of 
which our family and friends took special interest; though 
of course the operations of our armies, wherever they took 
place, were watched with intense anxiety. Hardly a day 
passed without some new excitement. Our ladies' aid society 
was constantly kept busy in collecting clothing and extra pro- 
visions, such as preserves of all kinds, for our armies. They 
held bazaars for the raising of money to buy necessary articles 
and also to take care of the widows and children of those 
who had fallen in battle and who stood in need of support. 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

From Belleville to Madrid 

I had always looked upon Spain as a highly interesting 
country politically, and, besides, as a land of romance and 
song. But notwithstanding this I should have preferred 
some other mission. Not that I wanted more leisure than 
Spain would give me ; but I supposed, and it turned out very 
correctly, that the expense of living at Madrid was far higher 
than that at Berlin or Vienna, where the salary of the min- 
isters was the same as in Spain. I disliked the idea of hav- 
ing to live in a style so inferior to that of other ambassadors 
and ministers as to cause remarks and to cast a reflection on 
the great country I was to represent. Nor could I afford to 
spend the little capital I had accumulated by hard work in 
my profession. Knowing that my colleagues in Berlin and 
Vienna, particularly the former, were men of large means, I 
thought I would propose to them an exchange of missions. 
Of course, 1 first broached the subject to Mr. Lincoln, who 
informed me that he had no objections, if I could get the con- 
sent of either of the gentlemen in question. So I wrote to Mr. 
N. B. Judd in Berlin and to John L. Motley in Vienna, pro- 
posing an exchange. Both declined; Mr. Judd on account of 
the heavy expense of breaking up his establishment and also 
his ignorance of either French or Spanish, while he, and 
particularly his family, had made much progress in learning 
German; Berlin was also an excellent place for the education 
of his children, which had been one of his inducements to 
accept the Berlin mission. 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 225 

CORRESPONDENCE WITH MOTLEY 

In my letter to Mr. Motley I had suggested, that, as he 
was still engaged in writing another work on the history of 
the United Netherlands, he would find most valuable mate- 
rial in the archives of Madrid and Simancas. On the first 
of July he answered my letter very characteristically: 

"Hon. G. Koerner, Dear Sir: Your favor from Belle- 
ville, Illinois, of June 8th, has just reached me, and I lose 
not a moment in sending a reply. I hope my letter may 
reach you within the time suggested, but I fear the limit, as 
you will see by my date, is a close one. 

"I regret very sincerely, my dear sir, that I am; unable 
to comply with your proposition that I shall exchange my post 
for the mission in Spain. I fully appreciate the manner in 
which the suggestion is made, and wish that it were in my 
power to oblige you. Nothing can be more correct than what 
you say as to the importance of the American minister's 
understanding German affairs and speaking the German lan- 
guage if he wishes to make himself useful in Vienna. But it 
so happens that I have myself been very much in Germany. 
In my youth I spent some years at a German university, and 
more recently I have passed several years in the country, so 
that the language is nearly as familiar to me as my own. 

"My children were also educated in Germany. You will, 
I am sure, pardon me these details, because in answer to your 
letter I am desirous of showing that circumstances have made 
me familiar with everything relating to the country where I 
am placed. As I now have been established here long enough 
to become well acquainted with all my colleagues, as well as 
with the government, and as I have done my best to gain 
their confidence, I feel that I can make myself more useful to 
our country here than I shall be likely to do at Madrid. 

"I thank you very cordially for your kind and very 
flattering allusion to my historical labors, as well as also for 
the suggestion you make as to the convenience I might derive 
from residing near the archives of Simancas. But it may be 
well to state that I have already accumulated a large quantity 
of material from these archives, covering most of the ground 
which I shall ever occupy in future, so far as Spanish history 
is concerned. 

"On the other hand the principal work upon which I in- 



226 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

tend to devote what leisure I may find is the history of the 
Thirty Years' War, already announced by me as the natural 
conclusion of my other writings. 

"When I have said this you will see at once the tremen- 
dous importance to me of the archives of Vienna. 

"Certainly these considerations are but secondary ones; 
for the country has a right to all my time and all my thoughts, 
and in such a period as this it is almost impossible for anyone 
to withdraw his attention for a moment from the great events 
now occurring in our own country. 

"It is therefore not for my personal convenience, but 
because I honestly believe that I can serve the government 
with more effect here than in Madrid, that I feel obliged to 
decline your proposition. You see by the length of my letter 
that your suggestions have been treated with seriousness and 
attention, and I hope that therefore you will appreciate my 
views, even though they are not, unfortunately, in accordance 
with your wishes. I am, dear sir, with great respect, very 
faithfully, 

"Your obedient servant, 

"J. Lothrop Motley." 

Had Motley's life and correspondence then been pub- 
lished, as has now been done (1888), I should not have alluded 
in my letter to the fact that my being a German would be of 
use to me and our country at the Vienna court. I had then 
no knowledge of his being an excellent German scholar. I 
was still somewhat surprised that he did not make the ex- 
change. I knew he was ambitions, anxious to occupy a prom- 
inent position to which his high talents, his high social stand- 
ing in the United States and in England, and his European 
reputation as a fascinating historical writer entitled him. 
Now the mission to Austria at this period gave him no scope 
for exhibiting his high intellectual powers. Having a large 
fortune, he could have built a house in Madrid, and the re- 
moval was a matter of indifference to him from a pecuniary 
point of view. In the end, with all the drawbacks caused by 
an insufficient salary, I had reason to be glad that things 
turned out as they did; since the services I had to render in 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 227 

Spain were highly important in comparison with those which 
Mr. Motley could by any possibility render in Vienna. 

Bismarck, in one of his incomparable letters to Motley 
while he was in Vienna, asked him to write him often, or 
better, to come up and visit him at Varzin, as he had nothing 
to do at Vienna. Had Motley been at Madrid at this time, 
Bismarck could not have addressed him in this way. 

PREPARATIONS FOR DEPARTURE 

General Osterhaus had written me from camp at White 
River, Ark., that he desired to have Edward Tittmann, of St. 
Louis, appointed on his staff as commissary of subsistence 
with the rank of captain. He desired me to use my influence 
with General Halleck and the President. Mr. Tittmann very 
soon addressed me on the same subject. Nothing could have 
afforded me more pleasure than to have been useful to my 
early and devoted friend. I got my friends in Washington 
to recommend him to the authorities there, and on my part, 
I addressed General Halleck and the President. After some 
delay he was successful in getting the position. He appointed 
his son Edward as clerk. Edward was a most amiable and 
bright youth. After the war he studied law, was admitted to 
practice, and soon attained a high position at the bar. When 
quite young, he was elected to the Legislature of Missouri, and 
became at once a prominent member. He married Minnie 
D 'Oench, but unfortunately his health soon began to fail him. 
In vain did he seek restoration in California. Inexorable 
death cut short a life which had given promise of a most bril- 
liant career. Young Edward and his beautiful and lovely 
sister Emma had grown up under our eyes, the playmates and 
companions of our children, and Sophie and I loved them 
nearly as dearly as we loved our own. 

Mr. Seward had given me to understand that I need not 
be in a hurry to depart, since just at that time our relations 
with Spain were highly satisfactory. I now went to work to 
wind up my professional business, which, as it extended to 



228 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

several counties in the circuit and to cases in the federal and 
supreme courts, was somewhat troublesome. I had to place 
my business with proper instructions in the hands of different 
lawyers and to settle up my own private affairs. What leisure 
was left me, I employed in reading books on Spain, so as to 
make myself more familiar with its social and political con- 
dition. Numerous letters had to be answered. Among others 
I received one from Judge Breese, not long before my depart- 
ure, which is so characteristic that I copy at least part of it. 
After congratulating me on my appointment to a "court 
rather friendly to the North," he continued, "How it would 
please me to see you in Madrid and to visit with you those 
parts of Spain which abound in historic interest. You would 
be better placed at Berlin or Vienna, and maybe you can get 
Judd to exchange with you in a year or two." He then, un- 
duly flattering me as having obtained President Lincoln's 
best foreign appointment, said, "That is not saying much; 
for we have never in our whole history been so poorly rep- 
resented as now. Write me frequently from Madrid such 
letters as you would like to have published. Views of Spain 
by an Illinoisan will eagerly be read. Success to you. You 
go to represent a disunited country, never, I fear, to be again 
reunited." 

The Judge had still remained a bitter, old-fashioned 
Democrat, an anti-war Democrat. His judgment of our 
diplomatists abroad was very much colored by prejudice, 
considering that Charles F. Adams was our minister to Eng- 
land, George P. Marsh to Italy, Dayton to France, Motley to 
Vienna, and the clear-headed, keen-eyed Judd to Berlin. 

At last we made our preparations to depart. We had 
sold much of our personal property, and had bid adieu to our 
friends. The evening before we left for the East, the citizens 
of Belleville serenaded us, and I made my farewell speech. 
To part with our Mary, the only one of our children we left 
behind, was hard indeed. Having left St. Louis on the 10th 
of August, we arrived, late at night on the llth, at Buffalo. 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 229 

As Augusta, Gustave and Paula had never seen Niagara Falls, 
we took, the next morning, the first train for the Falls, and 
stopped at the International. In the morning we did the 
American side, and after dinner the Canadian. On our re- 
turn, towards evening, I was taken suddenly ill, and, instead 
of taking the night train, as we expected, for Albany, I had 
to go to bed. It was an attack of bilious colic. By strict 
dieting and by having recourse to our well-provided medicine 
chest, I felt well enough to proceed on our journey the third 
evening after our arrival. Having reached Albany early in 
the morning, we got on board the day-steamer for New York. 
At West Point Sophie and the children got out to visit Theo- 
dore 's grave. As I had to arrange some financial matters in 
New York and to procure berths, etc., I hastened on in ad- 
vance; besides, I had to go on ahead to Washington to get 
my passport and instructions; and the steamer for Hamburg 
was to leave in ten days. I took rooms at the Astor, where I 
was joined by my family two days after reaching New York. 
Gustave and I started at once for Washington. 

IN WASHINGTON 

I called on the President, whom I found quite at ease, 
although the condition of affairs in front of Washington ap- 
peared to be rather gloomy. While McClellan, after the great 
battle before Richmond, had withdrawn his army safely to the 
James River, the rebels were left free to take the offensive 
and to move forward. Some time previously, while McClellan 
was still before Richmond, the corps of McDowell, with that 
of Banks and that of Fremont, had been concentrated to pro- 
tect Washington, and formed the Army of Virginia, as it was 
called. General Pope, whose mythical reports had made quite 
a hero of him, was called from the West to command it. Fre- 
mont, being set aside by a junior officer, resigned, and Gen- 
eral Sigel took his place as commander of the First Army 
Oorps. By the time I reached Washington, Pope, in the face 
of a much superior force, was compelled, after some severe 



230 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

fighting, to fall back and to give up the line on the Rappa- 
hannock. McClellan had been ordered to join Pope at Acquia 
Creek, but was tardy. Mr. Lincoln was satisfied that McClel- 
lan 's army, still some 80,000 strong, would arrive in time, and, 
in connection with Pope, drive the Confederates back without 
much trouble. 

When I called upon Seward, he also seemed to take mat- 
ters lightly. He was in the habit of always looking on the 
bright side of things. It was the first time that I had an 
opportunity to see and converse with Seward. I had seen 
him at a distance on inauguration day. He was tall and 
spare. His face was long and thin, his nose very aquiline, 
his eyes sparkling, his profile very sharp. He spoke in deep 
tones, and rather slowly. He looked more dignified than he 
really was. He at once talked and acted very familiarly. 
"With Spain/' he said, "we are all well pleased. She has 
acted very friendly, more so than any other neutral power. 
I hardly find it necessary to give you special instructions. 
You will be furnished with the general printed instructions 
to all our ministers. Your passport is already made out, and 
I will send the papers to your hotel this afternoon." Mr. 
Tassara, the Spanish minister, he said, was not in town, other- 
wise it would have been necessary to give him a call. 

THE VOYAGE 

We went back to New York, where I was taken again 
quite ill. But my friend, Dr. Tellkampf , by a rather powerful 
medicine, got me well enough to take the steamer on Satur- 
day, the 23rd of August. The Bavaria, on which we embarked, 
was one of the older boats of the Hamburg Line and reputed 
rather slow. She was, of course, not as elegantly and richly 
furnished as the present steam-palaces of this and other lines. 
But everything was comfortable and clean, with an excellent 
table and prompt service. The captain, named Meier, and all 
the officers were cordially polite, and, after all, she went 
nearly as fast as most of the steamers of that time. 



231 

Our fellow-passengers, with the exception of Mr. Theo- 
dore S. Fay, of New York, were not very interesting. Orig- 
inally a lawyer, he turned to literature and became co-editor 
of the "New York Mirror." I had read some of his lighter 
productions soon after settling in the States. He had been 
many years secretary of legation in Berlin, and, until a few 
years before I met him on the Bavaria, our minister resident 
of Switzerland. He was on his way back to Germany, where, 
I believe, he had left his family. We, of course, kept very 
good company. 

Although the weather was fine and the sea tolerably 
smooth, Sophie and the girls, particularly Pauline, became 
very sea-sick. Sophie suffered a good deal, and we had to 
call in the doctor, whose prescriptions gave her some relief. 
In a few days, however, the worst was over. Gustave was only 
slightly affected. Having been more or less ill for the last 
ten months and very weak from my last attack at New York, 
I was expecting to be badly taken by this diabolical disease. 
But to my great astonishment I kept entirely well, feeling 
no inconvenience whatever; and I may here remark that in 
all my sea-voyages on the Atlantic, the North Sea, the Baltic, 
the Mediterranean, and even in the most stormy weather on 
our own American inland lakes, I was never sea-sick except 
one day on my first coming over from Havre on the Logan. 
I used to boast that on board ship I never lost a meal. 

Two days out, we stopped a mile or two from Cape Race, 
Newfoundland; the captain getting into a boat and making 
a landing to take despatches for England. The marine cable 
was then, and had been, broken for some years, and was not 
re-established until 1868. But the telegraphic despatches 
were sent to Newfoundland and taken up by the passing 
steamers, so that Europe got some two or three days' later 
news than the papers the steamers brought would contain. 

On his return the captain called me aside and said: "T 
have some bad news for our side. The despatches are sealed 
up, but the operator told me that our armies had been pushed 



232 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

back towards Manassas Junction or Bull Run and that a great 
battle was expected, and that there was great alarm at Wash- 
ington." I was still under the impression, however, that 
McClellan would come in time, and that, if there would be 
a great battle, we would come out victorious. Still, the news 
was rather depressing. 

Nothing of importance then happened, and in about 
eleven days from our departure from New York we found 
ourselves very early one fine morning at Cowes on the beauti- 
ful Isle of Wight. The scenery was delightful. The splendid 
forests, noble palaces and public buildings and villas of that 
enchanted isle, presented a beautiful view. A small steamer 
soon made her appearance; the passengers for England were 
transferred to her; and we soon entered the quiet waters of 
the Bay of Southampton, at which place we arrived at about 
seven o'clock in the morning. 

SOUTHAMPTON 

As we intended to stay only one day at Southampton, we 
left our trunks at the custom-house to avoid the trouble of 
search, and sent only our hand-baggage to Radley's Hotel, 
near the landing of the steamboat which was to leave at mid- 
night for Havre. Radley's was rather a diminutive specimen 
of a hotel, compared with those of our large cities; but it 
was cosy and comfortable, and the meals excellent as to fish 
and meats, but quite indifferent as to vegetables, soup, etc. 
After breakfast we strolled through the town. It is a queer 
old place. The houses are mostly built of stone and look 
quite massive, but they are low and heavy. Some old arched 
gates are still left standing in the middle of the streets, show- 
ing the ancient limits of the place. The new part of the city 
has some fine residences and public buildings and there is a 
very fine park, disfigured, however, by some ugly statues. 
The market was one of the most interesting features we saw. 
The great variety of fish and vegetables attracted our atten- 
tion. But what we most admired was the fruit-market. 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 233 

Bananas, oranges, lemons, cocoanuts, and many other strange 
looking nuts were piled in heaps. The choicest and most lus- 
cious early grapes from France and Spain, apples, pears, 
peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and grapes from Ger- 
many and France were displayed, and on inquiry we found 
the prices very low. 

I called upon our consul, Captain Britton, who, I believe, 
had been in our navy a sensible man. The news I had received 
at Cape Race had reached England a day or two before we 
had arrived. It had been hailed with delight, the captain 
told, by the Southampton people. His position here, he 
stated, was a most painful one. The sympathy not only of 
the trading and commercial classes, but even of the masses 
of laborers, was altogether with the secessionists. He hardly 
ever went out into society, where he was constantly annoyed 
by the way in which American affairs were discussed. Of 
course, he said, trade is very much depressed here, and there 
is a good deal of suffering on account of the war. It is quite 
natural that they should wish for peace by a speedy recogni- 
tion of the independence of the rebel States by the Lincoln 
government. But even those of the educated classes, who had 
no personal interest at stake, were all for the rebels, or nearly 
so. 

At about eight o'clock in the evening we went on board 
of a very large and handsome channel-boat, the "Alliance," 
took our state-rooms and went to bed; the boat waiting for 
the London train for passengers and mail. We did not notice 
the starting, and when I left my room in the morning about 
six o'clock, Cape La Hogue was in sight, and about eight 
o 'clock we landed in the harbor of Havre. It was a beautiful 
morning, the scenery enchanting, the sea as smooth as a 
mirror. 

When I left Havre on board of the Logan a young exile, 
casting a last lingering look on Europe, I never dreamed of 
seeing it again, surrounded by a beloved wife and happy 
children and as the representative of the great transatlantic 



234 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Republic. Sailing out of the harbor on the first of May, 1833, 
the cannon were booming and thousands of flags flying in 
honor of King Louis Philippe, whose fete day it was. On my 
return Louis Philippe had been dethroned, France had been 
made a Republic, and a Bonaparte was now sitting on the 
imperial throne. We gave our luggage in charge of a com- 
missaire, who had it carried to the Paris railroad depot. 
As the next train for that city was to leave in an hour, we 
took a hasty breakfast at a restaurant, embarked for Paris 
about ten o'clock in the morning, and arrived there at about 
four o'clock in the afternoon. We saw very little of the 
country through the window of our coupe, which I very much 
regretted. How much did I enjoy this trip when I came 
from Paris to Havre in the old-fashioned stage-coach! To 
be sure, it took us full twenty-four hours, instead of six, as 
now. But we had a full view of the glorious valley of the 
lower Seine. Going up hill, we jumped out of the coach and 
walked. We then stopped an hour at that most interesting 
city of Rouen, and visited its magnificent cathedral. This 
time, our stay was three minutes, and I believe we passed a 
greater part of the city through a tunnel. 

IN PARIS 

Arriving at Paris, we drove to the Hotel Meurice, Rue 
Rivoli, which had been recommended to us by Captain Brit- 
ton. It was not as elegant and showy a hotel as the one of the 
Louvre or the Hotel de la Paix, but was at the same time very 
much frequented by English and Americans. Its situa- 
tion was most eligible. On the finest street in Paris, it was 
just opposite the Gardens of the Tuileries and the Louvre. 
It being the saison morte, we engaged at a very reasonable 
price a suite of rooms on the first story, which corresponds 
on the continent to our parlor-floor. The salon and four 
other apartments were only accessible through an ante-room, 
which, when locked up, secured the whole suite from intrusion. 
The furniture was of the choicest, and we laughed at the 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 235 

many mirrors and the "pendules," all differing, however, 
as to time, so that one always had the benefit of choice. After 
resting a little, we took our dinner in our apartments, and 
then began at once to "do the city." It had improved im- 
mensely since I saw it last, thirty years before; some parts 
of it I could hardly recognize. "We went to the Champs 
D'Elysee, which were crowded with promenaders and specta- 
tors surrounded the cafe chantants. We finally entered a very 
new and elegant circus called Cirque de 1'Imperatrice, and 
witnessed a very fine and artistic performance. 

Pretty early next morning, I called upon our minister, 
Mr. Dayton. I found him a very quiet, pleasant gentleman, 
without any striking characteristics; he had no later news 
than what we had from Southampton. He was very anxious 
about the condition of our affairs. So was I. I had known 
General Pope pretty well, almost from his boyhood. What- 
ever his military ability might have been, he was very much 
disliked by his comrades of the regular army, and while com- 
manding a division in North Missouri in the fall and winter 
of 1861, he managed to make himself very unpopular with the 
officers and men under hin> I thought at the time his ap- 
pointment to the newly formed Army of Virginia very in- 
judicious, and his very first address to his army on taking 
command was so pompous and so insulting to the army that 
had been fighting in the East, that many people doubted his 
common sense. It is not to be wondered that such generals 
as McClellan, Meade, Hancock, Burnside, Franklin, Sigel, 
Porter and Kearney took offense at such presumption and 
arrogance, and served under him grudgingly. 

As the Emperor was away, the question of my being in- 
troduced to him did not arise. Mr. Dayton seemed to be less 
impressed with the duplicity of the Emperor concerning our 
affairs than I was. Perhaps, however, he was cautious even 
when speaking to me. Mr. Seward had made it a point of 
instructing his ministers to assume the utmost confidence in 
the good faith of Louis Napoleon. 



236 

Mr. Dayton's family, except one son, was summering 
somewhere in Germany. I thought he did not much relish 
his position. Speaking with him about my diplomatic uni- 
form, (at that time prescribed by law,) which was to have 
been made at Paris, (all ministers generally had them' made 
there,) Mr. Dayton asked me whether I had not my uniform 
as colonel of the staff along, and, if so, that I need not go to 
the expense of getting a diplomatic uniform, inasmuch as all 
ministers here, who were or had been in the military service, 
always appeared in their uniforms. This was quite new to 
me, and very acceptable, as it saved me about one hundred 
dollars. 

Next day Mr. Dayton's son called, with excuses for his 
father, who had been taken quite sick and was confined to his 
bed ; I saw thus very little of our minister to France. 

Our first visit was to the museum of the Louvre. We 
had studied Baedeker's Paris, which, under the article 
"Louvre," directs one's attention to the masterpieces of the 
different collections; and, armed also with the official cat- 
alogues, we entered the salons and were at once in the midst 
of all its glories. Some of the choicest paintings, by Raph- 
ael, Murillo, Rubens, Titian, Paul Veronese, Leonardo de 
Vinci, Van Dyke, etc., etc., were hung in the Salon Carre. 
There we spent most of our time. The museum of sculpture 
with its treasures we had not much time to behold, as we 
lingered in the splendid palace up to the time when the cus- 
todians cried la cloture. The next day, however, when the 
ladies had gone shopping, I again passed some hours in this 
fairy place. I had quite often visited at Munich the Royal 
and the Leuchtenburg Gallery, the galleries at Frankfort, 
and had been in the galleries of Cassel and Berlin, but the 
Louvre was a new revelation to me. Had time allowed, I 
should have spent days there most delightfully. 

"We took in, also, many other sights, the Jardin des 
Plantes, the Pantheon, the Madeleine, the Vendome Column, 
the Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame, the Palais de Justice, Place 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 237 

de la Bastile, Hotel des Invalides, Napoleon's Mausoleum, 
Palais Royal, etc. The great Hippodrome Circus disappointed 
us, as did the Grand Opera. The performance there of the 
"Favorite" was not much superior to what we had heard in 
New York. We were told, however, that during the summer 
season the great stars were away on leave of absence, and that 
what are called "doublures" had taken their places. Our 
stay was only a little over three days. Had I known then 
what shortly afterwards I learned, we should have remained 
longer in this enchanting city. 

GERMANY AND THE RHINE 

On the evening of the 10th of September we left Paris, 
went by Compiegne, St. Quentin, Namur, Liittich (Liege) 
and Aix la Chapelle to Cologne. It was mostly a night jour- 
ney. At Aix la Chapelle we stopped about a quarter of an 
hour, and had a look at the cathedral. From there the coun- 
try was very flat, though well cultivated, and the soil ap- 
peared fertile. At the custom-house in Cologne we had the 
first trouble with our baggage. The officers insisted upon 
opening our trunks. I showed them my minister's passport, 
telling them who I was. They said they could not help it. 
I called for their chief. In the meantime Gustave had un- 
locked one trunk. The chief, however, had come out, read 
the passport and made a sign, whereupon the trunks were all 
marked and passed through without visitation. We stopped 
at the Hotel Victoria, near the Rhine. 

The first thing I did was to look at the day's newspapers. 
Nothing later from the United States as yet. But there was 
a notice that the Queen of Spain with the court and diplo- 
matic corps had left Madrid to visit the southern provinces 
of Spain, and was not to be back until some time in October. 
We all were rejoiced at this, as my absence would thus be of 
no consequence, for I could not be accredited until her return. 
So we could spend considerable time in Germany and Switzer- 
land with our relatives and friends. 



238 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

After resting awhile, we went out to look at the Rhine. 
We were all of us disappointed. It was quite wide and at a 
high stage of water ; but very heavy rains on the Upper Rhine 
had colored its generally translucent, light green waters to 
brown. It reminded me of the Upper Mississippi before its 
junction with the yellow Missouri, or of the Ohio near its 
mouth. Besides, the banks of the river are here flat and un- 
interesting. Indeed, the beautiful Rhine scenery ends at 
Bonn, some twenty-five miles above Cologne. We passed over 
a splendid iron bridge to Deutz, a suburb, containing some 
very fine hotels and private residences. 

At the instance of Mr. Henry Drucker, of St. Louis, 
brother-in-law of Theodore Engelmann, I called upon his 
brother, a banker, who at once offered to be our cicerone ; and 
in his company we visited the cathedral, which I had seen 
some thirty years ago in an incomplete state. It was now 
finished, except the steeples. It is the noblest piece of Gothic 
architecture in Germany, perhaps in the world. Several of 
the other churches were also visited, and I admired again one 
of Rubens 's great masterpieces, the Crucifixion of St. Peter, 
in the church of the same name. The collection Richarz in 
the Museum contains some most excellent paintings of the 
ancient German and Flemish schools by Lucas Cranach, Hol- 
bein, Memling, and Rubens. 

We passed a very pleasant afternoon with Mr. Drucker 
and part of his family at the beautifully situated zoological 
garden on a high plateau overlooking the Rhine. What struck 
us as most admirable was the large room allotted to the dif- 
ferent wild animals. The lions and tigers could make leaps 
on the artificial rocks in their cages of twenty feet or more. 
All the specimens were first class. A fine garden and res- 
taurant was crowded with a select company. None but mem- 
bers of the stock company which owns the garden, and their 
guests, are permitted to enter on week days. On Sundays and 
other feast days it is opened to the people at large for a slight 
entrance fee. 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 239 

On the day we left Cologne the papers had some rather 
imperfect telegraphic news of the second battle of Bull Run 
or Manassas Junction. The Unionists had met with a terrible 
defeat. Washington was in danger. As all news from the 
United States by the Reuter telegraph office was always much 
colored to the injury of the Union cause, we did not give it 
credit to the full extent. Yet it was sad enough and I did 
not enjoy our trip up the Rhine as much as I otherwise 
should have done. 

On board a steamer we passed by the fine city of Bonn 
with its charming surroundings, the Seven Mountains, the 
Drachenfels, Rolandseck, and Nonnenwerth. The banks 
here are quite romantic and are lined with innumerable villas, 
splendid hotels, ancient villages, towns, castles, towers, and 
chapels. Beautiful Coblenz, where the Moselle enters, and 
Ehrenbreitstein opposite, charmed our eyes. The most in- 
teresting part, from Coblenz to Bingen, where the river 
flows mostly through dark gorges and where the hills are 
crowned with mighty castles, some of them restored to their 
pristine grandeur, we passed through in the afternoon. The 
ancient town of Bacharach we looked at with deep emotion. 
Here had lived and died the venerable minister, the grand- 
father of our Sophie. Her father had been born and educat- 
ed there, and his many brothers and sisters. It was the cradle 
of that large Engelmann and Hilgard family, whose members 
are distributed over many lands. Some of them live in the 
Rheinpfalz, others at Heidelberg, Frankfort on the Main, 
Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Kreuznach, and Carlsruhe, at St. 
Louis, Belleville, LaSalle, Cleveland, Washington, New York. 
Boston, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago. The old 
roomy parsonage was pointed out to us by Sophie, who had 
passed many days in her early youth at her grand-paternal 
mansion. The garden that had belonged to it, however, was 
cut through by the railroad from Mayence to Cologne. 

It was quite dark when we reachen Bingen, where we 
disembarked to visit our numerous relatives at Kreuznach. 



240 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEB 

We were just in time for the train. All the compartments 
were full, and the only one where there were seats enough 
for our party of five was the smoking car. There were 
three gentlemen in it, all smoking; of course, we could not 
object to this, though, perhaps, in the States the gentlemen 
would have quit smoking. But such was the closeness of the 
air that Augusta at once opened one of the windows. A 
pretty cool draught came in. Now one thing most striking 
to all Americans is the fear of people on the Continent, par- 
ticularly the Germans and still more the French, for draughts 
of air. They looked with astonishment on our boldness at 
first. After a- while they became uneasy, and turned up their 
coat-collars. As we did not notice their signals of distress, 
but felt very comfortable, talking amongst ourselves in Eng- 
lish, one of them spoke up in broken English, asking us 
whether we would not be good enough to let the window down 
as we should certainly take cold. I said we would (though it 
was very pleasant to us to have fresh air), provided they 
would quit smoking. Then one impertinently remarked that 
this was the smoking car. The cigars they were smoking were 
rather poor, though they were well-dressed gentlemen, by all 
appearances commercial travelers. "Well," said I, "We 
know that, but gentlemen should at least smoke decent cigars 
and not ' stinkadoras. ' ' "Oh, well," one replied, "we can- 
not all afford to smoke regalias like English lords and Amer- 
icans." If these gentlemen had been officers or students, this 
would have been a fine occasion for a challenge. But we only 
laughed, and in the meantime they threw their cigars away, 
having got to the stumps anyway, whereupon we closed the 
window. By this time, however, we had nearly reached 
Kreuznach, the distance from Bingen being only about ten 
miles. 

KREUZNACH AGAIN 

The bathing season was at an end. The Kurhaus on 
the island was nearly empty. In fact, it was about closing, 
and had become quite a dreary place. But as we had so many 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 241 

friends there, we spent but little time in the hotel. The 
three days we remained in Kreuznach were red-letter days. 
Our relatives received us with the utmost cordiality. Sophie 's 
aunt, Mrs. Julia Engelmann, though over seventy years of 
age, seemed to take a great interest in us. Julia was the eld- 
est daughter, and, after her father's death, had taken charge 
of the Ladies' Seminary, which had first been established at 
Frankfort and then transferred to Kreuznach. Her father, 
a distinguished educator, had instructed Julia in his own pro- 
fession, and, being a lady of excellent mind, superior educa- 
tion, and uniting great kindness with firmness, she had suc- 
ceeded in sustaining the institution at its former greatness. 
The youngest sister, Sophie, a very handsome and spirited 
young lady, was a teacher. It being vacation, they were all 
at leisure, and devoted their time to making our stay pleasant. 
Another sister, Clara, widow of Dr. Roesch, and another 
cousin, Dr. Charles Engelmann, resident physician, with a 
very interesting family, (his oldest daughter being just on the 
point of marrying,) also showed us great attention. Two 
more cousins, Peter and August Engelmann, also took great 
pains to entertain us. I found some of the members of the 
Kaufmann family still living there, two sons and two daugh- 
ters. They were young people at the time I made my last 
visit in company with Henry Hoffmann at Kreuznach, in 
1827, and I was really very glad to meet them again. Be- 
tween dinners and suppers, and excursions, into the the most 
charming environs of the place, the time flew rapidly. 

When I had last known the town it was an ancient, small, 
ill-built place, remarkable only for its excellent society and 
its most wonderful surroundings. There were salt-springs 
about two miles southwest of it, at Muenster-on-the-Stein, and 
large salt-works had been erected there in the beautiful val- 
ley of the Nahe. That they were of high medicinal value, 
was then unknown. But some twenty years before strong 
salty springs were also discovered upon an island between 
the two parts of the town, situated on the right and left banks 



242 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

of the river. Some bathing establishments sprung up, and 
now the island and adjoining banks were covered with beau- 
tiful residences, fine hotels, and public gardens. What recol- 
lections rushed on my mind as I again stood at the foot 
of the bold cliff of the Rheingrafenstein to my left, 
Franz von Sickingen 's noble old Ebernburg in front, and to the 
right the fantastically shaped porphyritic hills of the Rothen- 
fels a thousand feet high. At my early visit, life with all its 
brightest hopes was before me, father, mother, brothers, and 
sisters still alive, warm friends attached to me, my aspirations 
high, strong in health, I felt as though the whole world were 
mine. 

No place I revisited in the old country, my native city not 
excepted, called more forcibly to my mind the golden spring- 
time of life than Muenster-on-the-Stein. Sophie was also 
much delighted by her visit to Kreuznach. It was a sort of 
second home of the Englemann family. In early youth 
she had passed many happy days there. We both promised 
ourselves to come back again before we should leave Europe 
forever. 

FRANKFORT AFTER THIRTY TEARS 

On the 15th of September we left for Frankfort. At the 
West End depot Sophie's sister, Mrs. Margaret Hilgard, her 
daughter Lina and her husband, Rudolph Schirmer, welcomed 
us, presenting us with beautiful bouquets. The meeting of 
the two sisters after an absence of nearly thirty years was 
quite affecting. 

Frankfort was still in a state of ferment. The great 
festival of the German Rifle Societies was just over. From 
the Tyrol and the Carpathian Mountains, from Switzerland 
down to the Rhenish provinces, from the cities on the North 
Sea and the Baltic, some twenty thousand riflemen had as- 
sembled for three days, and had competed for rich prizes. 
The long forbidden banners of the old empire, black, red and 
gold, were carried in the procession, and Duke Ernest of 
Coburg, a sort of princely Liberal, led the procession, carrying 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 243 

the old national flag. Even at the palace of the German 
Diet this symbol of unity, which we tried to raise on that 
seat of the Diet in 1833, floated during those days, proving 
that the people were rapidly striving towards that unity for 
which we had struggled and suffered. 

We took up our quarters at the old hotel of the White 
Swan, and got very good front rooms. While the table sus- 
tained its former high reputation, the furniture was poor 
and the service bad. Some years afterwards it was ren- 
ovated and obtained new fame by its being the place where 
Bismarck and the French ministers stopped, and the final 
peace of Frankfort was signed. 

In my book "Aus Spanien, " (Frankfort, Sauerlander, 
1867,) in a letter to Rosa Tittmann, I have given my impres- 
sions of Frankfort. As they are short, they may find a place 
here: 

"Frankfort! Every paving-stone has not only a histor- 
ical importance, but an individual one to me. What feelings 
rushed over me when I set foot on the Steinweg to stop at 
the old-fashioned Swan ! The Chief Guard-House, one of my 
last recollections of Frankfort, the Horse-Market, where, 
wounded, I passed my last night in Frankfort! From the 
windows of the hotel I saw the old city park (Stadt-Allee), 
where as a child and a boy I had played so often, now orna- 
mented with Goethe's (much too colossal) statue. Oh, how 
beautiful Frankfort has grown, embossed in a wreath of splen- 
did garden villas ! ' This is the first city that looks like Amer- 
ica,' my children said. Here is life, trade, free movement. 
Everybody seems free and easy, speaks his mind freely, no 
passports, no custom-house vexations. No one asked me who 
I was or what my business was. A longer sojourn, however, 
might show some shades to the picture. ' ' 

I was visited by old friends, Henry Hoffmann for one, 
my dear college friend. We saw the most remarkable sights : 
the old Roemer, with its imperial hall; the old cathedral; the 
fine picture gallery of Staedel, rich particularly in modern 
pictures by Lessing, Veit, Achenbach, Calame, Gallait, and 
Overbeck; Dannecker's Ariadne at the Bethman Museum in 



244 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the midst of the most excellent plaster casts of all the chef d' 
oeuvres of ancient art, struck us as most admirable. Excur- 
sions were made to Offenbach and Bockenheim. The tombs of 
my father and mother in the new cemetery, those of Charles 
and Pauline at Bockenheim, where they died, were visited 
and covered with fresh wreaths of flowers. The largest mus- 
ical society, the Liederkranz, on the occasion of Richard Wag- 
ner's presence in the city, gave a great banquet, to which the 
violinist Vieux-temps, the composer Lachner, of Munich, 
and some other musical celebrities had been invited. I also 
received an invitation. I found there a host of old school 
friends and college mates as members of the societies or as 
guests. Most of them had succeeded in life as bankers, pro- 
fessors, judges, or lawyers. I was seated between Wagner 
and Vieux-temps. The singing, partly directed by Lachner, 
was splendid. There is nothing above a vocal male chorus, 
to my mind. The viands and wine corresponded in quality 
to the music. The president first toasted Wagner. Wagner, 
with whom I conversed mostly during the two hours' ban- 
quet, I described in a letter to Rosa as a highly intellectual, 
refined, pale, slightly built, very interesting gentleman. He 
replied in a graceful speech, well delivered. I had to re- 
spond to the next toast. I confess I felt somewhat moved. 
As a young fugitive, probably cursed by a good many con- 
servative people here present, I was now almost enthusiastical- 
ly complimented by the president. I resorted to the usual 
rhetorical device of accepting all the praise merely as ten- 
dered to the representative of a great country. Still I told 
them that what I had seen of their free city and its people 
proved to me that our youthful struggle for unity and liberty 
had not been in vain and had borne fruit, and I referred, 
as evidence, to the late great national festival. I dimly 
indicated that Germany's institutions would be, in due course 
of time, modeled after those of the great Republic. I really 
had warmed up much, and apparently had struck the right 
chord. Wagner seemed much interested, and shook me most 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 245 

cordially by the hand. It was an evening not easily to be for- 
gotten. 

One day we went to Darmstadt, the opera of which had a 
high reputation. The stars were to appear in Gounod's 
"Faust." We met with disappointment. The orchestra was 
all that could be desired, but the stars made a fiasco. Darm- 
stadt had also wonderfully improved. 

At my time in Frankfort the garrison was only one 
battalion and one rifle company, the contingent of the federal 
army. Now the city was full of troops. One battalion of 
Prussians stayed in the city; another one in the village only 
a mile from Frankfort. A whole regiment of Austrians oc- 
cupied the city and suburbs, and also a battalion of Bavarian 
riflemen. A troop of Austrian dragoons and some artillery 
completed the garrison. It was in consequence of the entente 
of the third of April that the seat of the Diet had been so 
occupied. The citizens of Frankfort at this time were nearly 
all anti-Prussian. "While the Austrian and Bavarian officers 
were petted by the aristocracy of the city, and invited to all 
dinners and balls, the Prussian officers were as a rule all boy- 
cotted. When I, in conversation with my friends, expressed my 
belief that Frankfort would be better off financially and even 
politically if it were to become a part of Prussia, I was met 
with the most violent opposition. That a "Frankfort child" 
should express such a horribly treasonable opinion was almost 
incredible. To quiet them, I turned it into a joke. 

Mr. Murphy, from Michigan, the American consul-gen- 
eral at Frankfort, who called the day after our arrival, was 
not a very polished gentleman, but shrewd, active, pushing, 
and energetic. Owing to the bad news from home, our bonds 
were rapidly declining on the Frankfort exchange. He sug- 
gested that I should see some of the Frankfort bankers and 
stiffen them up, as he said. I went with him to J. Schmidt 
& Co., who dealt largely in our bonds. It so happened that 
one of the firm recognized me as one of his schoolmates at 
the old Model School. He was very happy to meet me. 



246 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

They were of course anxious to hear what I had to say con- 
cerning our affairs. I gave them my views in full : that the 
resources of the North were inexhaustible ; that the Northern 
people were determined to sustain the government to the last 
dollar and the very last man in its efforts to subdue the Re- 
bellion ; that the vastness of the theatre of the war and the 
nature of the country down South were prolonging the mil- 
itary operations ; that Washington according to the last news 
was safe; that upon the President's call another 300,000 men 
were coming into the field. I think I made some impression. 
At least Murphy afterwards told me so. Having a letter of 
credit to another banking house, Goll & Sons, whose agents 
at St. Louis I was well acquainted with, I called there. That 
house for many years had dealt in bonds of the City and 
County of St. Louis, and had also bought many of our war- 
bonds. They were also very anxious to know what I thought 
of the conditions of our country. I gave them my opinion 
the same as I did the other house. The general feeling of all 
classes in Frankfort and in Germany generally was in favor 
of the Union, which made my visit there still more pleasant. 

FREDERICK KAPP 

From Paris I had written to Judd in Berlin to the effect 
that I would be in Frankfort on the 22d of September and 
probably stay there a week. The second or third day after 
I reached Frankfort, Judd came down from Berlin. Of 
course, we had much to say to one another. I had left some 
eighteen months after him, and could give him an inside view 
of our affairs. He had no later news than that of the battle 
of Southampton, a Union victory, which had just been re- 
ceived. Of the battle of Antietam, we knew nothing as yet. 
His visit to us was really very enjoyable. We also met Fred- 
erick Kapp at Frankfort. I had known him by reputation 
only. His personality was striking. He was the ideal Ger- 
man, such as Tacitus has painted our ancestors. He would 
have made a splendid model for the statue of Arminius erect- 
ed some years ago in the forest of Teutoberg, where Varus and 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 247 

his legions were destroyed. An able lawyer, versed in 
economical and political science, he had turned his attention 
to history. He had intended to write a history of the German 
element in the United States, but had only completed one of 
the German immigration into New York up to the commence- 
ment of this century. His biographies of Generals Steuben 
and De Kalb and of Dr. Bollmann are exceedingly well writ- 
ten, as is his account of the trade in soldiers by the German 
princes during the Revolutionary War. A history of the 
German book-trade to which he devoted the latter part of his 
life remains unfortunately incompleted. He was a contributor 
to many American and German journals and reviews. As 
president of the Board of Immigrant Commissioners of the 
State of New York, he published several most valuable re- 
ports. During the Civil War he supported our cause most 
ably by his pen and his speeches. Had he remained in this 
country, and had he wished, he could have easily entered 
Congress, and would have made his mark. But after the 
war and the experience of a few years of the Grant admin- 
istration he conceived a dislike to our political affairs. Per- 
haps the reconstruction of Germany drew him back to his 
native country. He became a member of the National Lib- 
eral party. Bismarck, who was then leaning on that party, 
found such a character as that of Kapp quite to his liking. 
He was elected several times to the German Parliament. 
When Bismarck abandoned his Liberal policy, Kapp of course 
left him. The majority of the National Liberal party sur- 
rendering some of its most cherished principles, amongst 
others free trade or a tariff for revenue only, Kapp and many 
other prominent men, such as Lasker, Richter, and Riickert, 
seceded, and formed the Progressive (Fressinnige) party in 
opposition to Bismarck's internal policy. When, in 1884, he 
rather unexpectedly died, having given up his seat in Parlia- 
ment, as it interfered with his favorite task, the completion 
of his history of the book-trade, his death was regretted by all 
parties. His purity of character, his great abilities, his open 



248 

and most genial disposition had made him loved even by his 
political opponents. 

FROM HEIDELBERG TO SWITZERLAND 

After a most interesting stay at Frankfort of about eight 
days, we went to Heidelberg. Mr. Theodore Hilgard, who 
had been married again to Miss Mary Thevenue, had made 
this charming place his residence. There also resided Theresa 
Hilgard, widow of Theodore Tittmann, now married to Pro- 
fessor Holtzmann, the celebrated philologist and orientalist. 
Clara Hilgard, widow of Charles Tittmann, also lived there. 
Of course, we found ourselves quite at home, and spent some 
most agreeable days in the town and its picturesque environs. 
For my family, who had never been there before, Heidelberg 
was a source of delight. 

Leaving Heidelberg on the 24th of September, and go- 
ing up the beautiful road along the Black Forest through 
Carlsruhe, Baden-Baden, and Freiburg, with a distant view of 
the Rhine and the Strassburg Minster, we reached Basel and 
the Rhine where it flows in all its emerald glory. Within a 
few hours we went through the most interesting parts of that 
most antique place, and took the evening express to Zurich, 
where we arrived pretty late in the evening. 

Here again we met with friends. Fred Hilgard, who in 
1849 had participated in the revolution in Rhenish Bavaria, 
had taken refuge in Switzerland, and had married a young 
Swiss lady, residing in Zurich. He had been acting for many 
years as secretary in the United States consulate and frequent- 
ly as vice-consul. The next day after our arrival, my brother- 
in-law, Joseph Ledergerber, who, after the death of his wife 
Charlotte, had returned to his native country Switzerland, and 
had remarried, and now lived in his country place in Aargau 
at the gates of Constance, came to Zurich with his wife. In 
the company of these true friends, we made excursions, 
amongst others to Rapperswyl, at the upper end of the beau- 
tiful lake of Zurich. Leaving Zurich we left the lake at 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 249 

Horgen, crossed the lake at Zug, passed at the foot of the 
Rigi through the defile of the Kuessnacht, where Tell is said 
to have shot Gessler, and embarked again on the Lake of the 
Four Cantons for Lucerne, where we arrived at one of the 
finest hotels in Switzerland, the Schweitzerhof , on the evening 
of the 27th of September, 1863. From the balcony of our 
hotel we had a full view of the gem of all the lakes I have 
ever seen. It is the ideal lake, canonized by Schiller for 
all time. It is useless to describe Lucerne. It is the most 
romantic town I have visited, not excepting even Salzburg, 
which so deeply impressed me in my youth. 

From Lucerne, by Olten, we went to Berne. How beau- 
tifully that city is situated on the blue, fast-rushing Aar, which 
embraces it on three sides and gives it an almost insular posi- 
tion ! From our windows in the Bernerhof we could see the 
long, beautiful and sublime range of the Bernese Alps right 
before us. 

We were met at Berne by our consul, G. W. Fogg, of 
Vermont, a very amiable and well-informed gentleman. He 
acted as our cicerone. His office was in town, but he resided 
on one of the hills surrounding the city, in a little cottage, 
keeping bachelor's hall. The view from the veranda was 
enchanting. We spent a very pleasant evening at his Tivoli. 
Although somewhat late in the season (Sept. 30), he persuad- 
ed us to make a flying visit to Interlaken. In his company 
we went by rail to Thun, took the steamer to Untersee, and 
reached Interlaken in the evening. Here we had at once the 
pride of the Alps before us, the Jungfrau with her Silver- 
horn in full view, and the other giants, the Monch, Eiger, and 
Schreckhorn. 

The season at Interlaken was over. Only one hotel on 
the promenade was open. Next morning we went up to the 
Liitschine Valley to Grindelwald, and visited the upper glacier. 
In the cave we thought we were in fairyland. We had a 
delightful time, the weather still being extraordinarily fine. 
Thus far we had not really a bad day since we left Belleville. 



250 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEENEE 

We parted with regret from Berne and our friend Fogg. 
He told us that with few exceptions the people of Switzer- 
land sympathized with the North in a quiet unostentatious 
way, according to their nature. Fogg, I believe, after his 
return became a member of Congress. 

From Berne we went to Lausanne, where we took the 
steamer for Geneva. The sky-blue lake was on the rampage. 
A stiff breeze called here the "bise," in the Julian Alps the 
"bera," in the Western Pyrenees the "mistral," had set in. 
Our steamer pitched considerably. Many passengers got sea- 
sick. Several landings we could not make in spite of all ef- 
forts. Yet the sun shone brightly. We remained some days 
in that noble and stately city. From our hotel, De Bergues, 
we had a fine view of the lake and Mount Blanc. 

LYONS AND FRANCE 

The first day the "bise" still continuing, we could hard- 
ly keep on our feet when crossing the Rousseau Bridge. We 
visited some of the fine chateaux on the lake, Ferney, Coppet. 
Leaving Geneva on the third of October, we soon entered 
France again, at a strong fort, Bellegarde, I believe, by name, 
and reached Lyons the same evening. Lyons was the most 
beautiful inland city we had ever seen. We passed a few 
days there in the greatest enjoyment of the scenery, the 
splendid churches and other public buildings, of the fine 
squares and parks, and of the rich museums of statuary and 
paintings. The latter contains some of the best paintings of 
Paul Veronese, Tintoretto, and the French school. 

Lyons still shows many traces of having been an imperial 
city, ruled by German emperors, where many diets of the 
empire had been held. There are a great many Germans at 
Lyons, and I once entered a cafe where nothing but German 
was spoken. The confluence here of the Saone and the 
Rhone presents a most beautiful and interesting sight. Our 
consul, Mr. James Leslie, was a very polite and very accom- 
modating gentleman. He and his wife sought to make our 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 251 

stay there quite pleasant. From Lyons, we went down the 
charming Rhone valley by Vienne, Orange, Avignon, and 
Tarascon, to Marseilles, stopping at the Hotel des Empereurs. 
We saw all the sights of this half oriental city, museums, 
and harbor, and took a drive about the city and its en- 
virons. There was a splendid opera, the performance better 
than at Paris; most gorgeous scenery, and a ballet beyond 
praise. 

Mr. W. Van Horn, our consul, we found an awkward of- 
ficial. He could not speak French, could give us no informa- 
tion about the steamer lines to Spain (was astonished when 
we told him that there were Spanish lines besides the Mes- 
sageries Imperiales of France), and could not tell at what 
ports the steamers made a landing. He may have had some 
good qualities fitting him for the place, but we failed to find 
them. As we wanted to see, not only Barcelona, but also 
Valencia, where the French lines did not stop, we finally con- 
cluded to take a Spanish line. We went on board in the 
evening, but according to Spanish fashion, instead of leaving 
at the appointed time, which was six o'clock in the evening, 
we did not weigh anchor until six o'clock in the morning 
amid a very severe thunder storm. The boat, the ' ' Cid, ' ' was 
a small one and far from being neat and comfortable. But 
as there were but one or two other cabin-passengers, we had 
plenty of elbow-room. The captain was a curiosity. He 
went by the high sounding name of Valdespinosa, was quite 
a small fellow with a full beard, and, what astonished us 
most in a sailor, had high water-proof boots on, reaching to 
his thighs. He, however, as well as his officers, who all spoke 
a little broken French, were kind and very attentive to us. 
On deck, around the boilers, were camped several Spanish 
families of the lower class, who slept there, and dressed and 
undressed quite unconcernedly. I suppose they found the 
lower deck too uncomfortable to live in. The captain was 
very watchful. He seemed to be afraid of that ' ' terrible gulf 
of Lyons", the dread of all sailors. When we passed 



252 

through there, late in the evening, he said he could now 
breathe freely. It was quite an interesting trip in spite of 
the hard beds and the peppery meals. Everything was so 
queer and so different from sailing in American, English, 
German, or even French steamers. 

BARCELONA 

Barcelona surpassed all my expectations. The main ave- 
nue from the port at the west end of the city, La Rambla, 
is planted with a double row of trees, leaving on each side 
wide places for carriages and for business. It is similar to 
Unter den Linden in Berlin, but smiles under a lovelier sky. 
Our hotel, the Cuarta Naciones, fronted it. I cannot 
describe all the churches (the cathedral being the most noble 
and interesting), the public buildings, the castle, and the 
royal palace that we visited. The city was a lively place, 
commerce and industry flourishing here more than anywhere 
else in the Peninsula. Our stay at Barcelona was made 
highly agreeable to us by our consul, Mr. J. A. Little, of 
Boston. A cultured gentleman, speaking French and Span- 
ish, of very prepossessing personal appearance, he acted as 
our mentor, being very familiar with all that was worth see- 
ing and knowing. So we learned more of Barcelona and of 
Spanish character in a day than we otherwise would have 
in a month. We promised ourselves to revisit this highly 
interesting city at a future time. 

We got again on our "Cid. " A party of ladies and 
gentlemen had come aboard. We started in a light thunder- 
shower. But the sea was as smooth as a mirror, and the sun 
shone hot and bright soon after we lost sight of the land. 
It was a pleasure to breathe the balmy air of the Mediterran- 
ean. In spite of the quiet sailing, the Spaniards, who at first 
had been in high spirits, laughing and rollicking, became sea- 
sick. And such a sight ! The ladies, who evidently had never 
been at sea, did not know what to do, and seemed to become 
perfectly unconscious, crying and groaning. They would 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 253 

not go down, but lay all around the deck. There was no 
stewardess to help them. The men were equally awkward. 
Fortunately the weather and sea were so fine that they soon 
got over their illness; but the ladies kept to their rooms be- 
low, being unwilling to be seen after the strange capers they 
had cut on deck. We had a great deal of amusement. Part 
of the time we had the coast in view. The mouth of the 
Ebro, the ancient site of the city of Sagunt, were pointed out 
to us. It was what our girls called a "lovely" trip. Next 
day, about noon, we reached the harbor of Valencia. 

VALENCIA 

We were soon surrounded by about twenty wild Moor- 
ish-looking fellows offering to take charge of us and our 
baggage. The captain of the "Cid" rescued us from the 
noisy gang, and engaged a tartana for us to take us to the 
city, a considerable distance. The tartanas are an oriental 
conveyance. A cart on two wheels in the shape of a gondola, 
drawn by two mules, tandem fashion. Some of them are very 
handsomely gotten up, and we noticed that they were the 
ordinary vehicles used by the higher classes, as well as by 
the lowest, the difference being in the springs, cushions, cur- 
tains and the painting of the body. 

We found a comfortable hotel, Fonda del Cid, a sort of 
mixture of a Spanish and French establishment. One of the 
guests was Mrs. Sherman of New York, who had been travel- 
ing all over Europe for a year or so, a very well informed and 
pleasant lady whom we met later several times in France and 
Germany. We received the visit of Mr. George Kent of Maine, 
our consul, with his daughter. He was an elderly, most 
kindly disposed gentleman, who appeared to be rather lost 
in this strange place. Miss Kent, however, had become quite 
familiar with the city and its society, and she proved a very 
intelligent guide. 

Valencia is the most Moorish town that we saw in all 



MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

our wanderings in Spain, Granada and Cordova hardly ex- 
eepted; not so much as regards narrow and tortuous streets 
as regards the looks and dress of the populace. In the very 
spacious market-place, one of the greatest curiosities of the 
city, if not of all Spain, the most picturesque costumes are to 
be seen. The men from the country wore short white linen 
trousers, so wide and baggy that at a distance one would 
think they were skirts. Their feet and part of the legs were 
naked. These trousers were held up by a broad scarf of 
various colors. A linen blouse, generally white, covered the 
upper part of their bodies. They wore sandals in place of 
shoes. Some wore slouched hats; most of them, however, 
had wound kerchiefs round their heads, turban-like. The 
women were dressed more like other Spanish country women, 
with either red or yellow petticoats and short jackets, their 
heads covered with silk or cotton handkerchiefs; but most of 
them were bare-headed, their rich black hair rolled up and 
held together by silver-plated pins or high combs. 

The cathedral is an immense building. Originally built 
in the Gothic style, but enlarged, its interior restored, and 
rebuilt during different centuries, it now presents a singular 
mixture of Gothic, Romance, Renaissance, and even rococo 
styles. Amongst many inferior pictures it contains some 
rich treasures of Spanish paintings from Ribalta, Ribera, 
Alonzo Cano, to some very excellent ones by Juan de Juanes, 
whom the Spaniards call "el divino" and rank next to 
Raphael. Like most of the Spanish cathedrals it is a real 
museum ; for, besides the pictures, there are statues in marble, 
in bronze and in wood, splendidly worked doors and numerous 
chapels filled with costly clerical furniture, and many tombs 
surmounted by monuments. Upon the whole, however, this 
Valencia temple is not to be compared in beauty and interest 
with many others in Spain and elsewhere. Miss Kent led 
us into some very fine streets and parks. The botanical 
garden pleased us most. 



FROM BELLEVILLE TO MADRID 255 

PROM VALENCIA TO MADRID 

In the evening of the second day we left Valencia on 
the railroad which connects with that running from Alicante 
to Madrid at Almansa. For several hours we passed through 
the Vega of Valencia, perhaps one of the most fertile spots 
in the world. It is called the "huerta" (garden). It is 
thoroughly irrigated according to the rules and laws still sub- 
sisting from the Moorish dominion. The track was lined with 
olive trees, higher and more luxuriant than we ever elsewhere 
saw them, and bearing the delicate fruit in almost incredible 
abundance. 

Later in the evening we traversed a rather barren coun- 
try. We saw large vineyards, if that term is permissible, 
for the grape-vines in every part of Spain we saw are cut 
very low and appear more like bushes about two feet in 
height, planted in rows without any support. The stems 
are often very thick, on each of which grow some five or six 
large bunches of mostly dark blue grapes. At this season of 
the year the vintage was over. Night soon shut out the 
country from our view. At Almansa, the celebrated battle- 
field of the War of the Succession, where Archduke Charles 
lost his hold on Spain, we took supper at a most elegant 
and well served railroad restaurant. Here we came to the 
railroad leading from Alicante to Madrid, the first, I believe, 
built in Spain. Early in the morning we found ourselves on 
the barren plain of New Castile, where the fields, where they 
can be irrigated, are well-tilled and produce most excellent 
wheat. But this quasi-desert soon changed as we drew near 
to Aranjuez, through which the Tago flows, which furnishes 
in numerous rivulets plenty of irrigation to its surroundings. 
Broad avenues of gigantic elms, sycamores as large as those 
in the bottom land of the Mississippi, evergreen oaks, pines 
and other varieties of trees were seen on all sides, and we 
caught a glimpse of the summer-palace and of the gardens of 
the cascade formed by the river near the palace. We stopped, 
however, only a few minutes; and, leaving the river, the 



256 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

dead plain again met our eyes. An hour more and Madrid 
loomed up before us. The Manzanares, a small river except 
in spring, flows at Madrid through hills of considerable height ; 
and a great part of the city is built on its banks. This and 
the many high palaces and church-towers give it a majestic 
appearance, heightened by the background of the Guadarrama 
Mountains north of the city, which, on account of the clear 
and transparent air, appear to be almost near the city limits, 
although twenty miles distant. Madrid itself is some two 
thousand six hundred feet above the level of the sea, and 
some of the Guadarrama Mountain peaks rise to six thousand 
feet. 

About ten o'clock on the 12th day of October, 1862, we 
reached the southern depot, where Mr. Daniel Payne, one of 
the attaches of the legation, was waiting for us in a car- 
riage. It was a lovely, sunshiny Sunday morning. We 
passed the Atocha Avenue, a part of the celebrated Prado, and 
turned into the Calle Alcala, the principal street, which issues 
into the Puerta del Sol, on the north side of which stood the 
then new and most fashionable Hotel de los Principes. 



CHAPTER XXXVII 
Madrid 

The Hotel de los Principes was kept on the American plan. 
We contracted for a very fine suite of rooms on the principal 
(parlor) floor, looking out on the Puerta del Sol, at five dol- 
lars a day for each person. If there was a landlord, we never 
saw him. All business was done by a lady, a very handsome, 
highly painted Parisian, dressed in most elegant and coquet- 
tish style. Mr. Payne attended to our baggage, passing 
it through the "Duana," and we soon found ourselves very 
comfortable. The same afternoon we witnessed a most novel 
and exciting scene. 

There was a bull-fight in the Plaza de Toros just outside 
the gate of Alcala. The wide place of the Puerta del Sol was 
covered with omnibuses, hacks, and cabs, of all sizes, colors 
and ages, in which the people were to ride to the popular spec- 
tacle. They were filling up rapidly, and were driven off at 
a furious rate ; the return-vehicles were also at once taken by 
storm. Besides, hundreds of stately landaus carried the 
higher classes, who resided principally west of the Puerta del 
Sol. Thousands on foot hastened by. The noise made by the 
rushing crowd, by the innumerable vendors of oranges, agua 
ardiente, and cigarettes was deafening. The costumes of the 
lower classes were quite picturesque, and some of the young 
men wore dresses very similar to the toreros of the bull- 
ring. 

We saw ourselves at once transplanted to a new world, des- 
criptions of which we had of course read, but which after all 
had given but a pale impression of what we now saw with our 
own eyes. 



258 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

THE SECRETARIES OF THE AMERICAN LEGATION 

Horatio J. Perry was at that time secretary of legation. 
A few days before my arrival, he had left Madrid to join some 
of the diplomatic corps, who, at the invitation of the Queen, 
were accompanying her on a visit to the southern part of 
Spain. Before, however, he reached Carthagena, he received 
a telegram notifying him of my arrival. He immediately 
offered to come back; but as I could not do any official busi- 
ness before the Queen's return and before being accredited, 
I asked him to join the cortege. The Queen's party had been 
accompanied by an English and by a French war-steamer, 
and also by our Kearsage. For nearly a day the Queen had 
made the voyage on the latter vessel and had expressed her 
great satisfaction with the treatment she had received on 
board of that steamer. While our men-of-war were not ad- 
mitted to the English and the French ports, except to coal or 
when in distress, they visited the Spanish ports and stayed 
there at will; while, in the Spanish peninsula at least, the 
Confederate cruisers were not permitted to enter except for 
necessary repairs. Mr. Perry did not return until the 27th 
of October, a day or two before the Queen. 

Mr. Perry, a native of one of the Eastern States, had 
come to Spain as secretary of legation, I believe, with Mr. 
Barringer, of North Carolina, who had been appointed our 
minister to Spain by President Taylor in 1849. When Soule 
superseded Barringer, Mr. Perry lost his place, but remained 
in Spain, having married a Spanish lady. When, in 1861, 
the government passed into Republican hands, and Colonel 
William Preston, minister under Buchanan, was re-called, 
Mr. Seward at once appointed Mr. Perry secretary of legation, 
and as Mr. Schurz did not reach Madrid before some time in 
June, he had acted as charge d' affaires in the meantime, and 
so he did again after Schurz had left and until my arrival. 
Perry, perhaps not quite forty years old at that time, was a 
tall, handsome man, intellectual, and of elegant, somewhat 
Spanish, manners. He spoke and wrote Spanish very fluently, 



MADRID 259 

and, as far as I was able to judge, very well. He had also 
some command of the French language. He had been, I be- 
lieve, before he came here, connected with one of the large 
New York papers, probably the "Tribune," and when not in 
office, had been a contributor to the same paper. He was an 
able and impressive writer, but, like most ' ' literati, ' ' who have 
formed their language from writing for newspapers, his style 
often bordered on the sensational and his imagination outran 
actualities. As a newspaper-correspondent certainly he must 
have been highly acceptable. 

As it was, he no doubt was very well qualified for his of- 
fice, knowing perfectly well the country, the parties and the 
court intrigues ; but he could, under the circumstances, hardly 
have failed to have fallen into some peculiarly Spanish hab- 
itudes, especially dilatoriness and want of punctuality. "When 
a Spaniard tells you on Monday that he has to do a certain 
thing "mianana" (tomorrow), you may be pretty sure that he 
will not do it before the end of the week ; but when he prom- 
ises you to do it "manana pasada" (day after tomorrow), 
you may as well take it for granted that he will not do it at 
all. Mr. Perry, besides, seemed to have been engaged in a 
good many private affairs of a speculative character, which 
took up a great deal of his time. My knowledge of Latin and 
French enabled me, however, soon to read all the communica- 
tions from the minister of foreign affairs and others with ease, 
and as Mr. Payne and my son attended to nearly all the nec- 
essary copying, I got along very well. 

I made it a point to read some of the daily papers of 
Madrid, and found this of very great benefit. It is the very 
best way of learning the character of a people. If one could 
read the advertising columns only, one would gain a good 
insight into the manners, mode of thinking and the peculiari- 
ties of a people. Besides, the reading of the journals enabled 
me to follow the debates in the Cortes and the comments there- 
on by the different party-organs. How some of my predeces- 
sors who had not this advantage got along, I can hardly un- 



260 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

derstand. They must have learned the "cosas de Espagna" 
from the ' ' London Times, ' ' or from ' ' Galignani 's Messenger, ' ' 
published at Paris. I found that both these papers were 
taken by the legation. I discontinued them, and, instead, 
ordered the "Journal des Debats, " the most impartial and 
reliable journal then published in France under the Empire, 
and almost the only one favoring the Union. The expensive 
"Times" and the German "Allgemeine Zeitung" I read at 
the Casino, the principal club of the city. 

Mrs. Perry, usually called Carolina Ooronada, had called 
upon us. She must have been, when younger, of rare beauty. 
Like all Southern women, she had, however, prematurely 
faded, still being a quite interesting, vivacious, graceful wo- 
man, with deep, black, winning eyes and beautiful blue-black 
hair. Her two little daughters, about eight and ten years of 
age, were of angelic beauty. She was a poetess, had written 
several novels, and enjoyed as such quite a reputation. She 
spoke French with a decided Spanish accent, was posted in all 
court and also political intrigues, and seemjed to have an un- 
bounded influence over her husband. She prided herself on 
being an Andalusian, though really she was a native of Estra- 
madura. She was all nerves, and at times exceedingly high- 
tempered. 

Mr. Payne was a very quiet, pleasant, and amiable young 
gentleman; but he also, although he had only been a year or 
so in Spain, had adopted many Spanish habits. He usually 
went to bed early in the morning and rose late in the day. 
The other attache, Irving Van Wart, a grandnephew of Wash- 
ington Irving, had gone on a visit to his family in England, 
and was not expected back before spring. As these young 
gentlemen served as volunteers at their own expense, they 
could, of course, dispose of their time at their pleasure. 

By this time we had learned of McClellan's victory at 
Antietam, and also of the President's Proclamation of Emanci- 
pation. The latter gave me in my particular position much to 
reflect upon. The present ministry ought to have been, and 



MADRID 261 

the ruling classes were generally, anti-emancipation. The 
effect that a general emancipation in the United States might 
have on Cuban and other slave-possessions of Spain was 
feared. Thus far we might say we had had the sympathies 
of Spain generally with us. The danger of losing them was 
increased by the enthusiasm with which the action of Lincoln 
was received by the Democratic press in Spain, which was in 
bitter opposition to the government. Yet, I must say, that 
the prime-minister O'Donnell, as well as the minister of for- 
eign affairs, Senor Calderon Collantes, acted very discreetly. 
The government-papers almost ignored the matter. Perhaps 
the reason was, that the clerical and reactionary papers spoke 
rather favorably of it. As a general thing, that party had, 
at least theoretically, opposed slavery. The Progresista jour- 
nals, which, under the influence of General Prim, had become 
fast friends of the Union, also rather approved of the measure. 
At any rate, in all my conversation with the ministers, there 
never was an allusion to the subject. 

SPANISH PARTIES, POLITICIANS, AND DIPLOMATS 

According to custom, although not yet accredited, I had 
made visits to my colleagues of the diplomatic corps and had 
received their counter visits. Mr. Calderon Collantes also 
having returned before the Queen, I called upon him, showing 
him my letters of credence, and submitting to him the address 
I intended to make to the Queen. He expressed himself as 
greatly gratified with it, and said the Queen's answer would 
be presented to me in due time for information. 

It is not my purpose to say much of Spanish politics. 
They have always been complicated, and each phase of them 
would have to be explained by a long retrospective historical 
review. Only so far as it concerned me personally during my 
mission, will I touch on the political condition of Spain. The 
O'Donnell ministry had been in power since 1858, more than 
four years, a most unusually long time for a Spanish min- 
istry. For various reasons, the Liberal party, placed in power 



262 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

by 'Donnell and Espartero, had become divided. O 'Donnell, 
being more conservative, attached to himself a portion of the 
Conservatives (Moderados), but lost a considerable fraction 
of the Liberals. From what remained of the Liberals, and 
from an accession of a fraction of the Moderados, a third party 
was formed, calling itself the ' ' Union Liberal. ' ' It was a sort 
of juste milieu, as it had existed under Louis Philippe in 
France. This was the ruling party now. Opposed to it were 
the highly conservative Moderados, the Liberals or Progres- 
istas, under the lead of Olozaga and General Prim, and under 
the influence of Espartero, Duke of Victoria, (though now re- 
tired from public life,) and the Democratic or Republican 
party, small in number, but active, enthusiastic, and led by 
very able men, such as Figueras, Castelar, Salmeron, and Piej- 
Margel. The clerical and reactionary parties voted generally 
with the Moderados. 

Leopoldo 'Donnell, Duke of Tetuan, as before stated, 
was the prime minister; of Irish descent, but of a family 
naturalized in Spain since the downfall of the Stuart family 
in England. His features, however, were more English than 
Irish. Tall, more than six feet high, of a most robust and 
masculine stature, he was a very imposing personage. His 
hair was light, rather reddish, but thin; his complexion per- 
fectly English, his eyes gray. He wore no beard, and, what 
was most singular, this man, who had been in numerous bat- 
tles, had raised and subdued rebellions, had ordered hundreds 
of people to be shot or hanged, looked as kind and benignant 
as a professed philanthropist, and around his lips played 
almost constantly a genial smile. He seemed to be very do- 
mestic, for when met in the promenades he was always ac- 
companied by his wife. His age was about fifty years. 

Minister of foreign affairs was Senator Saturnine Cal- 
deron Collantes. If 'Donnell looked martial and impressive, 
Mr. Calderon would have been taken for an old professor of 
philosophy or archaeology. There was nothing Spanish about 
him but his French, which he spoke with the strongest Span- 



MADRID 263 

ish accent. He was quite a mild-tempered, talkative man. When 
he had asked me what the late news from the United States 
was, and I had told him that it was very favorable to the 
Union cause, (it was after Antietam,) he politely expressed 
his great satisfaction at learning it, as no one wished more for 
a speedy settlement than he did. After a while he turned the 
conversation on the Queen, spoke with enthusiasm of the re- 
ception his gracious Sovereign was meeting with in the south- 
ern provinces, and of her kind and generous character gener- 
ally. I left him under the impression that he was an easy- 
going man who would not give me much trouble. 

Amongst the diplomats I visited I may mention the am- 
bassador of France. He was the only "ambassador," and 
yielded precedence only to the Papal nuncio. M. Adolph 
Barrot took no pains to conceal his exalted position. He was 
a brother to the celebrated Odillon Barrot, who was the leader 
of the opposition under Louis Philippe, and minister of jus- 
tice under Louis Napoleon, when president, but who had re- 
signed and gone over to the opposition to the Napoleon 
dynasty. But Adolph Barrot had remained faithful. He oc- 
cupied a large hotel and was quite hospitable. In an ante- 
room two life-sized portraits of the Emperor and Empress 
were hanging. He received me very cordially, addressing me 
at once in English, which he spoke remarkably well, and I 
may say at once here that, although working with all his might 
against our interests, he personally behaved very friendly 
towards me and showed particular attention to Sophie. He 
had a box at the Royal Theatre by the year, which he gave up 
to us several times. He was, I believe, a kind-hearted man, 
and pretended to be a sportsman. He was of middle age, 
handsome and portly. Seeing in his library a portrait of a 
very beautiful woman, in an Egyptian costume, I admired it 
much, thinking it to be an ideal head and bust. "Ah," he 
said, ' ' that is my wife, Mrs. Barrot, the daughter of an English 
admiral.' 1 I at once by this remark took the measure of M. 
Barrot. 



264 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

He had for many years been consul-general of France 
in Egypt ; then had been advanced from step to step, until he 
had reached the Spanish mission as ambassador. Of my other 
colleagues I will speak as occasion offers. 

PRESENTATION OP CREDENTIALS 

The Queen had returned. The fourth of November was 
appointed for presenting my credentials. Mr. Calderon in- 
formed me that she was much pleased with the address which 
I was to deliver, and that she would reply very graciously. 
My speech was as follows: 

"Madam: I have the honor to present to your Majesty 
the letter of the President of the United States of America 
accrediting me as minister plenipotentiary and envoy extra- 
ordinary to your Majesty's government. I act but in accord- 
ance with the implicit instructions from my government in 
renewing to your Majesty the expressions of the most friendly 
feelings which the President, as well as the people of the 
United States, entertain towards your Majesty and the Span- 
ish nation, and which my predecessor at no very remote period 
has had the honor to communicate to your Majesty. 

"Since the time alluded to nothing has happened [with 
the knowledge or consent of the United States] to weaken the 
amicable relations so happily existing between the two govern- 
ments. The President on the contrary has noticed with great 
satisfaction the loyal and honorable bearing of your Majesty's 
government towards the United States at a time and under 
circumstances which necessarily present many embarrassing 
complications. 

"Feeling myself a lively interest in all that concerns the 
government and the nation of Spain, and sincerely rejoicing 
at its manifestly great and onward progress and its rapidly 
increasing prosperity, it may be proper for me to say that 
the duty that has devolved upon me to maintain the mutual 
friendship between the two governments affords me personally 
great pleasure. 

"Permit me to offer the most cordial wishes for the 
health of your Majesty and her royal family, and for the wel- 
fare and prosperity of the Spanish nation." 



MADRID 265 

The words in brackets, "with the knowledge and consent 
of the United States," were not in the original speech sent to 
Mr. Calderon. 

The program of the evening of my reception, as published 
in the " Gazeta Oficial, ' ' was an unusually long one. At twenty 
minutes before eight, the Russian minister, Count Stakelberg, 
who was to introduce to her Majesty, Prince (I have for- 
gotten his name), a Russian general and adjutant of the Czar, 
was to present his letters of recall, having been appointed 
minister elsewhere. At eight o 'clock, Senor G-ustave Koerner, 
minister of the United States, was to present his credential let- 
ters, whereupon the whole diplomatic corps, led by Monsignor 
Barili, Papal nuncio, was to wait upon the Queen to congrat- 
ulate her upon her safe return from her visit to the southern 
provinces. 

On the evening of the gala day, I had just come from din- 
ner at about six o'clock, when the evening edition of the most 
popular paper, the " Correspondencia, " was as usual brought 
to my room, where I was just preparing to dress myself for 
the occasion. Running my eye over the telegraphic despatches, 
I discerned one in large letters, substantially as follows: 

"The honor of Spain has been outraged. The United 
States war-steamer, Montgomery, has chased the English bark 
Blanche into Spanish waters and has boarded her in a Cuban 
port, (the name of the port was not given,) in spite of the 
protest of the port-captain, who, with his son, was insulted 
and beaten, and the bark, supposed to have been a blockade 
runner, with all the cotton on board, was burnt up by a crew 
from the Montgomery." 

This did not seem to promise me a very cordial reception 
on the part of the Queen. "A nice kettle of fish," I remarked 
to my family, which was not a little alarmed. Shortly after- 
wards, Mr. Perry rushed in quite excited. ' ' A half hour ago, ' ' 
he said, "I was sent for by Mr. Calderon to call upon him at 
once at the palace. I hastened there, and he told me that a 
despatch " "Hold on," I said, "I have just read it. What 
did Calderon say?" Mr. Perry continued: "Mr. Calderon 



266 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

and Marshal O'Donnell and some other ministers were in 
council at the office of Mr. Calderon at the palace. O 'Donnell 
remarked that unfortunately the despatch, directed to him, 
and received by him late in the afternoon, had, against his 
directions, gotten into the evening papers. Otherwise the min- 
istry would have ignored it until after my reception. He sug- 
gested that it would be better to postpone my reception until 
they had received a proper explanation. ' ' Perry thought that 
would not do ; but he would have to see me and hear what I 
had to say about it ; and so he had come. 

I instructed Mr. Perry to hurry back and to tell the min- 
isters that, if the facts were as represented in the despatch, 
I would at once disavow the act and assure them that my gov- 
ernment would not fail to give ample redress for this violation 
of international law, and that I would not listen to a post- 
ponement. If that was resorted to, I would not present my 
credentials at all and would leave Madrid at once. 

About seven o'clock Mr. Perry returned, stating that the 
Queen must necessarily speak of the event, and would change 
her address in some respect. We concluded to drive at once 
to the palace, inform ourselves of what the Queen would be 
made to say ; and if there was nothing derogatory to the dig- 
nity of our government in it, I would proceed to present my 
letters. 

When we entered the spacious ante-room of the palace, 
we found Count Stakelberg and all the members of his lega- 
tion already there in their brilliant diplomatic costumes, glit- 
tering with gold embroidery, and the adjutant of the Czar 
in his equally splendid uniform of the emperor's body-guard. 
On the opposite side, in a corner, was a small table, at which 
were seated Mr. Calderon and one or two more of the ministers 
with pen and papers before them. I went over at once with 
Mr. Perry. No suggestion of postponement was made. Mr. 
Calderon, however, remarked that the Queen must certainly 
advert to the misdeed, "mefait," as he called it, committed 
in Cuba. 



MADRID 267 

The speech was to remain the same as that which had been 
committed to me in the morning, only the conclusion was to be 
different. He handed me a paper in Spanish containing what 
the Queen proposed to say in addition. It was objectionable 
in some respects. I suggested several modifications. Calderon 
tried his hand at it again; Mr. Perry drew up one that I 
wanted. Finally we agreed upon the text. When Mr. Cal- 
deron said there were a few words in my original speech to 
the Queen which would not suit its conclusion, namely, 
"Nothing has occurred to disturb our friendly relations," I 
could not object to that; but, to make it easier for the Queen 
to adopt our proposed text, I said I would change one sentence 
in my speech. I had said, ' ' Since the time alluded to, nothing 
has happened to weaken the amicable relations, etc., etc." I 
now inserted after ' ' happened, " " with the knowledge or con- 
sent of the United States." 

All this was done on the spur of the moment. Count 
Stakelberg and his suite had already entered the audience- 
room, and in a few minutes I would have to present myself. 
Calderon went down to where the ministers were in council 
and altered the Queen's speech according to our agreement. 
After Stakelberg came out, Calderon went in, and in a few 
minutes Senator Baze, the introducer of ambassadors, a small 
and in every way insignificant and inconclusive man, took hold 
of our party, myself, Mr. Perry, and Mr. Payne, and intro- 
duced us to the Queen, who stood in the middle of the audience- 
chamber in full regal dress blazing with diamonds. Her hus- 
band stood on her left in the uniform of a captain-general of 
Spain, covered with all sorts of orders. She was a handsomer 
woman than I had expected. She had a rather small, round 
head, light blue eyes and reddish brown hair, and a some- 
what upturned nose, a rather sensuous mouth, but a pleasant 
and almost genial smile playing about her lips. What was 
most remarkable about her was her enormous embonpoint, 
though she was only a little over thirty years. The King looked 
very insignificant at her side. Hardly of medium size, he was 



268 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

slender, but not ungracefully formed. His features were quite 
interesting. His complexion, eyes and hair were dark. While 
the Queen did not look in the least Spanish, he was the picture 
of an ordinary Madrilenian. He was the son of Don Francisco 
de Paula, youngest brother of Ferdinand VII, who had not, 
however, pretended to the crown in preference to Isabella, as 
his other brother, Don Carlos, had done. 

This old Francisco de Paula at present was not received 
at court, having married a woman of the ballet, after leaving 
his first wife, Carlotta, an Italian princess of great distinction. 
After the prescribed bows at the entrance, I approached the 
Queen, who bowed on her part, and delivered my speech very 
audibly, whereupon she read her speech in a low voice, but 
still very distinctly. I also delivered two congratulatory let- 
ters on the birth of her last child, and if that of the Duke of 
Montpensier, her brother-in-law, which missives had slum- 
bered a good while in the pigeon-holes of the legation. Mr. 
Payne, who, for some reason or other, had never been pre- 
sented, was also introduced to the Queen and King. After 
a few stereotyped questions on the part of the Queen as to 
my family, our health, and how we were pleased with Spain, 
which I answered in the routine style, we bowed ourselves out, 
I to come back again in a few minutes with the whole diplo- 
matic corps. The nuncio made a pompous congratulatory 
speech, to which the Queen answered in a few words of thanks. 
We then all stood in a row, and the King and Queen made 
the circle, addressing every minister, inquiring after the 
health of their respective sovereigns and their august families. 
I was the only one to whom such questions could not be ad- 
dressed, and instead of that I had on all such occasions to 
give an account of how my senora and the rest of the family 
were. 

This was the first time that I had come into contact with 
a court and its ceremonies. But I did not feel the least em- 
barrassment, and looked upon all these and similar ceremonies 
as mere trifles, though perhaps in a certain sense necessary. 



MADRID 269 

My consultation with the ministers in the corner of the 
ante-room, our lively conversation, and the writing of papers, 
had of course, attracted the attention of the members of the 
diplomatic corps, who had nearly all come by the time we were 
still "palavering" about the Queen's speech. When we were 
through with the Queen, some of them with whom I was 
already acquainted, were very anxious to learn what this all 
meant. I just told them briefly the truth, and that I had 
helped fixing up the Queen 's speech. 

Sophie was very glad when on my return she heard that 
everything had passed off well. The Queen's speech as deliv- 
ered was as follows : 

"Senor Ministro: I have heard, with the liveliest pleas- 
ure, the expression of the sentiments of friendship which ani- 
mate the President and the people of the United States toward 
me and the Spanish nation. It is especially pleasing to me 
that your government has appreciated the noble and loyal con- 
duct of mine, whose acts have been directed always to main- 
taining the most perfect good understanding between both; 
and that, without fixing our attention on the grave circum- 
stances which are occurring except only to lament those evils 
whose termination we desire. 

"I do not doubt that you will contribute to the preserva- 
tion of the good relations which exist between the two govern- 
ments, and yon may be sure that you will encounter in mine 
the best and kindest disposition towards anything which may 
conduce to such an important result. I highly esteem your 
felicitations for the prosperity which Spain enjoys, and thank 
you for the good wishes you express for her welfare and for 
my happiness and that of my family. 

"It is a cause for regret for me that the news of important 
events on the coast of the island of Cuba should have arrived 
to disturb the satisfaction of your felicitation. But the terms 
in which you have expressed the sentiments of the President 
of the United States fill me with confidence that he will do 
whatever the honor and rights of Spain demand, so that the 
relations which unite the two governments may not be altered 
because of these events." 



270 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

OUTCOME OF THE "MONTGOMERY" INCIDENT 

The official gazette published, the day after the recep- 
tion, the speeches and all the ceremonies in the usual high- 
flown court style without comment. The Democratic papers 
gave the telegram, and said nothing. The opposition papers 
made some rather moderate comments, condemned the proceed- 
ings of Captain Hunter, of the "Montgomery," but expressed 
no doubt that the United States government would disavow 
them, as the new minister had already so assured the ministry. 
The government papers, of course, contained highly patriotic 
articles of a rather inflammatory character, extolling the act 
of the ministry for having at once asked for redress and for 
having given orders to increase the naval force on the island 
of Cuba, and blaming the opposition-papers bitterly for the 
indifference they showed on this occasion. The "Correspond- 
encia" went so far as to say that I should not have been re- 
ceived, if I had not changed my address. On a hint by the 
legation to Mr. Calderon, that paper next day contained a full 
retraction, stating that I had voluntarily added the words "by 
the consent and with the knowledge of" to avoid a conflict, 
that I had asserted that nothing had happened to disturb the 
amicable relations between the two countries, and that the 
Queen expressed a regret "that news had arrived calculated 
to disturb the felicitations of the minister." 

By some means or other, as I learned afterwards, this 
first statement of the "Correspondencia" crossed the ocean, 
and some papers in the United States unfavorably com- 
mented upon my action. They did not know that the Queen 's 
answer to the matter in question was actually formulated by 
me, and that the one she proposed was of quite a different 
color, a thing which probably has had few precedents in 
diplomatic intercourse. Some of my colleagues of the diplo- 
matic corps voluntarily told me that I had acted very cor- 
rectly on this embarrassing occasion. 

As to the adverse comments of the government papers T 
cared nothing, for I knew quite well that it was all done for 



MADRID 271 

effect merely, to bolster up the ministry, which was somewhat 
anxious to appear in the best light before the Cortes, which 
were to meet in a few weeks. A few days afterwards the 
Madrid papers published a despatch dated New York, October 
25th, stating that the President had disapproved of the de- 
struction of the English bark "Blanche" in the waters of 
Cuba. Besides, I was satisfied that the Spanish government 
had already received from Mr. Tassara at Washington the 
disavowal of the acts of Commander Hunter and the promise 
of redress. As the government papers still continued to harp 
on the questions and abuse our country generally, I felt it my 
duty to interpose and to ask Mr. Calderon in rather decided 
language to have this blustering stopped. He said he regretted 
it ; but in a long rhetorical harangue on the sacred liberty of 
the press he tried to convince me that he could exercise no 
influence in the matter. Of course this was all sham, and he 
saw that I looked upon it in that light. The result of my re- 
monstrance was that the Montgomery affair died out at once, 
as far as the public was concerned, and no more was heard of 
it outside of the council chamber. 

At the risk of being charged with vanity, I will here in- 
sert some passages from a letter from Senator Trumbull, Nov. 
30th, 1862, in answer to one in which I had given him the de- 
tails of this reception-matter. 

"I can fully appreciate," Mr. Trumbull writes, "the an- 
noyance the false publication in regard to your reception 
must have occasioned you, and am obliged for the full under- 
standing you have given me of it. I think you need have no 
fears of being misunderstood here at home, but should I see 
any attempt to put you into a false position, it will afford me 
pleasure to set the matter right. It seems to me you were 
singularly happy in the change of your speech to meet the 
alteration made by the Queen. 

"In the course of a conversation with the President I 
spoke of you as one of the very ablest of our representatives 
abroad, to which the President replied that Mr. Seward was 
enthusiastic over your despatches so far as they had been re- 
ceived. ' ' 



272 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Mr. Seward himself had warmly approved my action in 
his despatch answering mine on that subject. 

DOMESTIC LIFE IN SPAIN 

It was now about time for us to look about for permanent 
quarters. We had been nearly four weeks at 'the Hotel de los 
Principes. To find a suitable residence was very difficult. 
Madrid was on the rise ; within three or four years its popula- 
tion had increased from 400,000 to 500,000. Many new streets 
had been opened with many fine large buildings like those in 
the new avenues and boulevards in Paris or Lyons ; but they 
were generally occupied by business people. For a foreign 
minister the locality to live in was by prevailing prejudices 
much circumscribed. He might live in a narrow, even dingy 
street; but if the houses were private residences, principally 
occupied by high government officials or by some of the peo- 
ple admitted at court, it was a proper place. Some old Span- 
ish houses might have been obtained, but they were nearly all 
hall and staircase, flanked by long, but narrow rooms, without 
fireplaces and other, now considered necessary, improvements 
of modern times. Finally Mr. Perry, who occupied a fiat in 
the Oalle Alcala, where he had also kept the legation since he 
was appointed secretary by Mr. Seward in the spring of 1861, 
proposed to lease for me a residence just outside of the city 
limits, for which it seems he had a contract of purchase and 
which he had himself occupied in the summer, and where 
also Mr. Carl Schurz, while minister here, had resided. The 
place was known as the Quinta de Christina, for it had be- 
longed to the Queen's mother and had been occupied by her 
in the summer-season until she w r as banished. It was in the 
midst of a large park and garden, which were somewhat neg- 
lected, and surrounded by high walls. The house was roomy 
enough, but only partly furnished. The weather then was very 
fine, the trees and bushes were still green, and many flowers 
blooming. Not knowing much about the climate of Madrid 
we thought it would answer, although there were but two 



MADRID 273 

rooms in it with open fireplaces. We moved in. It was a 
very foolish thing to have leased these premises, as we soon 
found out. "While the days were still warm and very pleas- 
ant, the nights were cool, and when the wind came from the 
Guadarrama Mountains, they were bitterly cold. The large, 
high rooms could not be kept warm by the small chimneys, 
and the asphyxiating braziers we could not bear. Although 
close to the city walls, (Madrid at that time was still a walled 
town,) our friends warned us never to go out at night except 
in a carriage. The very excellent ' ' guardia civil, ' ' mostly on 
horseback, did not patrol outside the gates, and the surround- 
ings of Madrid and the suburbs were very poorly protected 
by the ordinary policemen, whose principal business it was 
to prevent smuggling into the city of country-produce, which 
had to pay an octroi, as in Paris and some other cities on the 
continent. Indeed, Mr. Payne, as we learned afterwards, was 
once attacked by some robbers, but, having time to draw his 
revolver, he frightened them off. Besides, I found it very in- 
convenient to have the legation so far from our residence. 

Mr. Perry himself saw that we were very uncomfortable, 
and we cancelled the contract after occupying the place about 
four or five weeks. We then succeeded in getting into a brand 
new, rather elegant house in a new street, the Calle de Tetuan, 
which had been opened after the war with Morocco, and which 
ran one square north of the Puerta del Sol and parallel with 
it. It had not quite as many rooms as we should have liked to 
have, and was not on the principal, but on the second floor. 
But its nearness to the Puerta del Sol and other main streets, 
and to the palace, where the office of the minister of foreign 
affairs was, made it a rather pleasant residence. 

In my book on Spain I have said hardly anything of our 
family life, yet for those for whom these leaves are mainly 
written our domestic life may be as interesting as our public 
career, if not more so. 

The contrast was great. At home, though we had servants, 
Sophie carefully superintended our household affairs, and 



274 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

very often lent a helping hand. The girls were initiated into 
the art of cooking and the general duties of housekeeping. 
Here, there was nothing of the kind to do. Our cook, and 
after a while we procured an excellent French cook, made 
out the bills of fare for the noon-breakfast and the six o'clock 
dinner. She went every morning to the market accompanied 
by the little kitchen-boy, who had to carry the baskets. If 
Sophie or any of the girls had even looked into the kitchen, 
she would have thought it an unpardonable offense. The 
valet-de-chambre, or head-servant, we used to call him for 
fun major-domo, Francisco Perez from Santillana, attended 
to my wardrobe, shaved and dressed me on extra occasions, 
exercised a general superintendence over the rest of the ser- 
vants (servidumbre), laid in the wines and groceries, attended 
to the mail and ran errands generally. He spoke French 
rather fluently, having traveled with some grandee through 
France and Italy as a courier. He was ambitious to improve 
himself, took lessons in French so as also to learn to read and 
write it. He was a very active and smart fellow, and perhaps 
honest, though the Spaniards take it for granted that every 
servant is naturally dishonest. He never went out without a 
shining high hat, and his hands well gloved. If he had to 
bring home a package, he always hired a "mozo de cordel" (a 
man who stands at the corners to do all kinds of porter work) 
to carry the package, however small. The second servant was 
Thomas, a very handsome, stout young man, a Swiss from the 
canton of Grisson, who spoke some Romance-Swiss, German 
and Spanish, and who had been for several years a waiter in 
one of the first cafes in Madrid (the Cafe Suisse). He had 
been brought up as a confectioner, and he could set a table 
most elegantly and wait on it in good style. He cleaned up 
the rooms, attended to the gas and the lamps, made the fires 
in the rooms, etc., etc. 

The chamber-maid attended to the ladies' rooms, and 
assisted in dressing them, though when they had to attend 
evening parties a friseuse had to be called in. All the 



MADRID 275 

washing and ironing was done outside of the house. It will 
be seen at once that there was really no sort of work for the 
ladies to do. Sophie at once took to embroidering and to 
other fine needle work when she did not read. For the girls 
and Gustave, I engaged at once a teacher of Spanish, a Mr. 
Rabbadan, who had been some time in the United States and 
spoke a little English and a little French. He had been pre- 
viously employed by some of our ministers as a Spanish teach- 
er. He was a worthy old man, who had seen better days, but 
was very punctual and attentive. These lessons and the prepa- 
rations for them took up several hours of the children's time 
every day. For Paula we had got a piano. 

THE PROMENADES AND DRIVES OP MADRID 

We most cheerfully adopted the Spanish fashion of spend- 
ing a good part of the day in the ' ' paseo, ' ' promenading both 
afternoon and evening. We drove out almost every day. In 
winter we went out before dinner, say from three to six o 'clock 
in the evening, and, in summer, dining a little earlier, we 
drove out after dinner until eight or nine o'clock. The near- 
est and principal place was the Retire, an old royal residence 
joined by a beautiful park. No carriages were allowed in the 
park except the royal ones, and other vehicles had to remain 
in the yard of the palace, now a museum of artillery. Every- 
body was admitted; and, on Saturdays particularly, all the 
many avenues were crowded. The park is in part on a high 
hill, from where there is an extensive view south into the vast 
plain half way to Aranjuez, and a very beautiful one north 
to the Guadarrama Mountains. 

On week days in the evening the people of the higher 
classes usually took a stroll through the principal avenues. 
There was also a lake in the park and a sort of a zoological 
department, containing, however, but few rare animals, some 
lions, tigers, bears, etc. There was constant improving going 
on, and the earth taken off or put in for filling was carried by 
camels. Large hot-houses contained exotic plants. The south- 



276 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ern part was in an almost natural state and covered with 
thousands of almond and olive trees. Some splendid fir and 
pine trees, with sycamores, acacias, elms and lindens, and a 
row of horse-chestnuts, taller than any I have ever seen, de- 
lighted the eye. In the spring particularly, this park, through 
which thousands of rills of the clearest water constantly rush 
to keep the vegetation alive, is of surpassing beauty. 

The popular promenade, however, was the celebrated 
Prado, which divides the Buen Retire from the city. In con- 
nection with the Avenue Atocha, which borders on the Retire 
on the south and joins the Prado at its southern extremity, 
and its continuation at the Paseo Recoleto towards the north, 
which extension is called the Fuente Castellana, this prom- 
enade is near three miles in length, three hundred feet wide 
on an average, and with a large roadway for carriages, and a 
double avenue of trees on both sides of the roadway. The 
"corso" on the roadway begins in winter between three and 
four o 'clock, and in summer at about seven ; and the new part 
of it, the Fuente Castellana, is the most fashionable. On very 
fine evenings the people leave their carriages and promenade 
on foot, but not often. The Prado, however, where there are 
innumerable seats, and some very splendid marble and granite 
fountains, is the resort of all people of Madrid, and in the 
hot season is crowded with thousands, old and young, until 
midnight and early in the morning. They sit in groups, hold- 
ing social assemblies (tertulias), and innumerable children 
play about. On the east side of the Prado are the botanical 
gardens, not very large, but exceedingly well kept, and the 
extensive buildings which contain the Museum of Statuary 
and the Picture Gallery, the finest in the world. On the same 
side is the monument of the "Dos de Mayo," which latter I 
have fully described in my work "Aus Spanien" (Frankfort, 
Sauerlande, 1867). 

' Now fashion is the most unaccountable thing in the world. 
The Retiro seldom, the Prado somewhat oftener, is visited by 
the aristocracy. But the Fuente Castellana was at our time 



MADRID 277 

the almost exclusive resort for the Spanish grandeza and the 
diplomatic corps or other distinguished foreigners. "While we 
liked the Prado and Retire very well, yet to drive there day 
after day at the same precise hour was to us quite wearisome. 
We had, like the court people, the privilege of entering other 
royal gardens, far more extensive, and, as far as scenery was 
concerned, more interesting than those places. There was the 
Florida on the banks of the Manzanares, with its double 
avenues of elms, its flower gardens, its long streets of forests 
and hills and dales. There we went most frequently. We often 
dismounted and walked for hours, a thing we found indis- 
pensable for our health. Now and then we found the Infanta 
Isabella, a sister of the King, with her pretty daughters, there, 
and once or twice we met the Infante Henrice, brother to the 
King, and his wife in their carriage; but both Isabella and 
Henrice were discarded by the court, the former on account of 
her marriage with the Polish Count Gurowski, and the other 
on account of his democracy. The latter was killed in a duel 
by the Duke of Montpensier after Queen Isabella had been 
dethroned. 

Another small but very handsome garden was right below 
the palace, the Campo del Moro. But the most extensive 
royal park, some four or five miles square, was the Casa de 
Campo on the west bank of the Manzanares. In it was a 
small summer-palace; it had also quite a large chapel, a 
small lake with all sorts of water-fowl, and a very large one 
for boating. Near the northern end of this was the race- 
course. Part of it was a kind of a model-farm, where I saw 
for the first time a stationary steam-plow, and a nursery 
of fir and pine trees, in which it was said the King took a 
great interest. In one enclosure was kept a dozen or so of 
ostriches. The part nearest the river for a mile or two was 
laid out in avenues one of poplars, one of sycamores, one 
of elms, one of maples, and one of locusts. The most west- 
ern part of this domain was in a wild state and was used 
for a hunting-ground. Partly barren, partly covered with the 



278 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

beautiful live oak, it was cut by deep gullies (barrancas). It 
was a delightful place for driving. Now both this Casa de 
Oampo and the Florida we had nearly all the time to our- 
selves. No one was admitted except royal personages, court 
people and the diplomatic corps. Sir John Crampton would 
occasionally take a ride on a little pony in the Casa de Campo, 
and I once met Count Crivelli, the Austrian minister, on 
horseback, but he had gone there on my recommendation, 
never having been there before. When we told our friends 
of the beauties of these places and of our frequent visits, they 
seemed to be quite surprised. They had heard of them and 
seen them from a distance, but had never entered them. 

The Queen, when in Madrid, never went to any place but 
the Retiro, where there was a garden reserved for her and a 
pavilion. At the precise hour of four o'clock in the after- 
noon, she left the palace, and drove every day through the 
same streets up to the Retiro, accompanied by the King and 
escorted by a squadron of cavalry and some masters of the 
horse. And like the Queen, so the people. They kept the 
same hours for promenading, and took the same streets go- 
ing and returning. I dislike to generalize, but it struck me 
that the Spaniards do not know what we call ennui ; they hate 
variety except in governments. 

DIPLOMATIC ACQUAINTANCES 

Naturally, some of our time was taken up in visiting. 
With most people this was a merely formal affair, and was 
done by driving up to the houses and sending the lackey up 
with the cards. With some families of the diplomatic corps 
we became, however, well acquainted. The Portuguese min- 
ister, Baron Pino de Several, and his family were quite pleas- 
ant people. He spoke English well, and his wife was an 
English lady. Their daughter also spoke English. The 
ladies called often, and we were frequently invited to dinners 
and receptions by all our colleagues. The Brazilian min- 



MADRID 279 

ister, Don Argo de Gendin, and his young and very pretty 
wife were to us the most agreeable society. Both spoke 
German very well, as Mr. Gendin had been for several years 
consul-general at Hamburg and then secretary of legation 
at Berlin. They were highly refined and talented people, and 
Augusta in the second year of our residence took lessons with 
Madame Gendin in drawing and painting from a French lady 
artist, and they drove out together frequently to draw land- 
scapes from nature. Their receptions, too, were quite in- 
teresting, as she was a favorite and a fine musician. Par- 
ticularly the young members of the diplomatic corps were 
constant visitors. 

Sophie and I sometimes went also to the receptions of the 
Prussian minister, when specially pressed to be present. 
Count Galen, an old-time Westphalian, of a most ancient 
family, an ultra-royalist and ultra-Catholic, had been long in 
Spain, and was a " persona grata" at the Queen's court. He 
was however, a good old soul, and quite cordial, though he 
knew my antecedents. He lived in a very modest style, not 
keeping even a carriage. He laid in regularly a barrel of 
sauerkraut, and Prince Wolkonski, the Russian ambassador, 
was a regular guest at his table on sauerkraut day. The 
Countess Galen, of the equally noble Westphalian house of 
Asseburg, told Sophie that she made her husband's shirts her- 
self. She was very proud of her nobility, and gave me a 
small book of ballads and songs, all in praise and in memory 
of the noble house of Asseburg. Count Galen at the time of 
the "Culturkampf ". in Prussia was minister to Belgium. 
The Countess, a strong Catholic, issued an address or a re- 
monstrance against certain Prussian laws enacted to punish 
disobedient and obstreperous clergymen, which address was 
rather vehement. She and some fifty noble ladies were in- 
dicted for libeling the government, and she was tried, fined 
and imprisoned for a short time. 

"While speaking of Count Galen, I may mention a rather 
amusing circumstance in connection with him. I had called 



280 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

upon him one morning, and had found Prince Wolkonski 
there. We spoke of the news generally, and I mentioned the 
appearance of Varnhagen von Ense's diaries, of which two 
volumes had just been published, and which had created the 
greatest sensation on account of its disclosures of Prussian 
court life and Prussian politics under Frederick William IV. 
The vacillating course of the King in matters pertaining to 
government, his strange and unaccountable freaks, his sub- 
serviency to Russia and Austria, were exposed and severely 
commented upon, and his ministers' favorites were not spared. 
While Galen and Wolkonski condemned these diaries very 
bitterly, I myself, who had read only some extracts from 
them in the Augsburg ' ' Allgemeine Zeitung," expressed the 
opinion that it was perhaps wrong to publish these indis- 
cretions after Varnhagen 's death, unless he had expressly au- 
thorized the publication. On this occasion Count Galen 
launched forth into a eulogy of the dead King. "Oh," said 
he, "he was the best and most kind-hearted of men, full of 
talents, well-informed, humorous and witty, un homme 
d' esprit. He had the best intentions, thought he was making 
the people happy, and was often imposed upon because he was 
too confiding. To know him was to love him." Tears al- 
most came into the Count's eyes. "But," continued he, 
"it is a great misfortune for any people to have a man of 
genius for a King. ' ' The conversation took another turn and 
the Russian minister left. In speaking of the diary, I had 
expressed a wish to read it. "You would like to read it," 
he said, when we were by ourselves, "I can let you have it." 
He took a key from his vest-pocket, unlocked a desk, and 
took out two large octavo volumes finely bound. "If you 
will promise me to let no one know from whom you got 
them, they are at your service, and I will send them to you 
this afternoon." I was of course much delighted and 
thanked him cordially. "I will tell you," said the Count, 
"how I came into possession of them. A few weeks ago I met 
Count Bismarck at Paris. All at once he asked me whether 



MADRID 281 

I had read Varnhagen's diaries. I had not even heard of 
them at that time, and told him so. 'Why,' said Bismarck, 
' is it possible you have not heard of them ? It is an infernal 
book; but one must read it; one must read it. Go and get 
it at once! You will find it at Wuertz's book-store.' So I 
went and bought it." 

The Count was true to his promise, and I to mine. No- 
body but my family saw it at my house. The regular re- 
ceptions at Count Galen's were usually but little attended 
and were quite tedious. Once, however, Sophie and myself 
were especially invited to a reception-night. The chiefs of 
some of the legations and their wives were also present, owing 
no doubt to similar pressing invitations. We were presented 
to Baron Harry von Arnim and his wife, who were in Madrid 
on their passage from Lisbon to Munich. Von Arnim, hav- 
ing been attached to several legations, had just been appointed 
Prussian minister to Munich, after having served in that 
capacity for several years in Portugal. He was, according to 
my recollection, then not quite forty years of age, slender and 
gracefully built, with a finely cut and very intellectual face. 
The Galens treated him with the utmost respect, and the 
Count took me aside and told me that Von Arnim was one 
of the ablest statesmen of Prussia and had a great future 
before him, and that Bismarck thought much of him. Of 
course my conversation with him was but commonplace, yet 
I could not fail to notice his elegant manners, and his highly 
intelligent features. Soon afterwards he was sent as minister 
to the Vatican, where it was said that he greatly distinguished 
himself at the critical time of the war of Prussia and Italy 
against Austria in 1866. After the formation of the North 
German Bund he represented it at Rome, and was finally sent 
to represent the Bund at Paris. By many he was considered 
a rival of Bismarck. At any rate, Bismarck was of that 
opinion. He was recalled and finally put on the pension 
list. This created a very great sensation, and very soon he 
was charged with having retained public documents and des- 



282 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

patches which Arnim contended were not public papers, but 
private correspondence. Refusing to deliver them he was 
arrested, but discharged on heavy bail and went to Italy. 
He then sharply attacked Bismarck in a pamphlet for which 
he was indicted for libeling and for betraying state secrets. 
On these charges in his absence he was tried and condemned 
to five years' penitentiary. He again bitterly assailed the 
chancellor in various publications. Finally he got leave to 
return in order to have the judgment set aside by a new trial, 
but his health having been broken down by the rude prosecu- 
tions of Prince Bismarck, he died in Italy before he could 
return. 

Sir John Crampton, the English minister, who had been 
minister to Washington, but had been removed at the instance 
of the Pierce administration during the Crimean War, was 
afterwards appointed minister to Petersburg, where, although 
of a very mature age, he fell in love with a Miss Balfe, the 
young and very handsome daughter of the composer Balfe, 
and married her. She had been performing at concerts in 
the Russian capital, and had been distinguished even by the 
imperial family, and moved in the best society. Yet this 
union was considered by his diplomatic colleagues and the 
Russian aristocracy so much of a mesalliance that he himself 
asked for a removal and had been now for some years min- 
ister in Madrid. Yet even here the ladies of the court and 
of the upper classes treated him coolly. They would go to 
the very fine balls of the English embassy, but would not 
reciprocate. I do not recollect that I ever saw the lovely 
Lady Crampton at any of the court festivities. We went, of 
course, to the embassy whenever invited, and found the place 
very pleasant. She was a most amiable woman, but a little 
too free in her manners. After the first year she left Madrid, 
and it was learned that there had been trouble between her 
and Sir John. Soon after we left Madrid, she commenced 
proceedings for a divorce in London. It was a sensational 
case, but divorce or separation was at last granted her. 



MADRID 283 

Sir John himself was a man of singular and peculiar 
manners. Yet personally I had no better friend in the diplo- 
matic corps. He was one of the few Englishmen who really 
were warmly for our Union. He visited me often and always 
received me very cordially. On some subjects we had, accord- 
ing to our instructions from our governments, to act jointly 
and in regard to the movement of the Confederate cruisers 
he gave me sometimes information which I could not other- 
wise have obtained. 

A day or two after our arrival in Madrid a very hand- 
some and very courteous gentleman called upon us. It was 
Mr. Daniel Weisweiler, consul-general of Bavaria, a banker, 
a relative and agent of the Rothschilds, of whom and his wife 
Mr. Washington Irving in his delightful letters from Madrid 
has spoken very highly. The Weisweilers and their two 
daughters moved in the highest society, were favorites of the 
Queen, gave splendid balls and receptions, and we maintained 
with them a very friendly intercourse. Mr. Weisweiler in 
every way sought to make himself useful to me. I may state 
here that at one of his dinners I was made acquainted with 
Mr. Stephan, the present postmaster-general of Germany, 
who had come on a special mission to form a postal treaty 
with Spain. He was of course at that time not the great 
postal celebrity he has since become. Clear-headed and self- 
possessed, there was something very genial about him, and all 
who had an opportunity to converse with him received a most 
favorable impression. I may here say that our attache, Mr. 
Payne, and some of the other secretaries and attaches, par- 
ticularly of the English and Russian legations, occasionally 
called on our young ladies in the evening, and also that in 
course of time we made pleasant acquaintances with some 
Spanish families who moved in English society. Madame 
Bertrand de Lis, of English descent, was one of that class, 
and she was a very charming and distinguished woman, at 
whose house we passed some very pleasant evenings. 



284 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

CARL QAERTNEB 

But what proved most gratifying and in a certain way 
most useful to us, was my meeting my old friend Carl 
Gaertner, from Jena, of whom I have spoken before. As an 
exile he had fought in the English foreign legion for Maria 
de Gloria of Portugal against Dom Miguel ; then in Spain for 
Isabella against the pretender Don Carlos. In this seven 
years' war he had as an officer of cavalry greatly distinguished 
himself, had become a favorite of Narvaez, Duke of Valencia, 
and had reached the grade of brigadier-general ; but Narvaez 
and his party being out of power, he was put on half pay, 
that is, deprived of active service, en cuartel, as it is called 
in Spain. At one time appointed with Narvaez a commis- 
sioner to study and report upon the military organization of 
France, he spent a year or so in Paris, receiving the order of 
Knight of the Legion of Honor, after having previously ob- 
tained the Spanish order of Carlos III. He had devoted 
much time to military science, had become a regular con- 
tributor to military reviews in France and Spain, and was 
considered one of the best informed officers in the army. 

I may as well briefly follow up his career until his 
death, which happened in 1868 or 1869. Shortly after we 
left Madrid, and Narvaez again came into power, Gaertner 
was made a major-general, being appointed, on the outbreak 
of an insurrection in Barcelona, commandant of that place 
and of the strong fortress of Zuich, and, when order was 
restored, being made vice-governor of the province of Grana- 
da. When Narvaez again lost power in 1865, he was of course 
retired a second time and came back to Madrid. Returning 
from a dinner at the Countess Monti jo's, mother of the 
Empress of France, and in the act of stepping into his car- 
riage at the portal, he was struck with paralysis and died 
within a few hours. His health, since we first had met him, 
was not very good. He had been repeatedly and very severe- 
ly wounded, and, owing to great exposures in the Carlist 
war, he was suffering very badly from rheumatism. But he 



MADRID 285 

was a man of strong will, a whole-souled fellow, and became 
very much attached to my family. While at Paris he had 
married a very handsome, amiable and well-educated lady, 
Olympia Vaillant de la Haye, who was much younger than 
he was. Both moved in the best society of Madrid and seemed 
to know everybody and everybody's business. Olympia and 
Augusta became great friends. That such a lady was well 
fitted to acquaint Sophie and the girls in all matters useful 
to know in Madrid, may well be imagined. And Gaertner 
was to me of equal benefit. Perfectly familiar with the char- 
acters of the leading men of all parties, cognizant of all in- 
trigues going on, as he was still a confidential friend of 
Narvaez, I obtained in a few minutes more information from 
him on Spanish affairs (cosas de Espagna) than I could 
have received in as many years from others. Our inter- 
course was very close, and General Gaertner and his charming 
wife made our life in Madrid far more agreeable than it 
otherwise would have been. 

Before I went to Spain I had lost sight of my old friend. 
I had vaguely learned that he had been in the Spanish army, 
and had obtained some rank there, but where he lived, or 
whether he lived at all, I did not know. When he learned 
of my appointment and of my arrival in Paris through the 
papers, he had called every day at the legation inquiring for 
me. The day after the papers mentioned my presence in 
Madrid and while I was sitting at the desk in the legation, 
Gaertner burst in and with tears in his eyes embraced me. 
He had remained a true German in every respect and his heart 
was still in Germany. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

Spanish Politics and Spanish Art 

The first labor I undertook was to make myself familiar 
with the records of the office and with the correspondence 
of my predecessors with the home government and with the 
Spanish ministers of foreign affairs. I commenced this work 
because I deemed it useful, but I soon found it so interesting 
that I should have pursued it solely for the pleasure it gave 
me. Unfortunately, the earliest records, of the time when 
our country was represented by Messrs. Carmichael, Wm. 
Short, Thomas and Charles Pinckney, James Monroe and 
James Bowdoin, were missing, as were also all records from 
1808 to 1814. During this latter period, direct and official 
relations with Spain were broken off; the United States not 
recognizing Joseph Bonaparte, who had been installed by 
Napoleon I. There was for some time an American secretary 
of legation then in Madrid, who probably, if there was occa- 
sion, transacted business with the Josephine government as 
one de facto-, but no traces are found in the archives of the 
legation of any negotiations during the Peninsular War. 
There could have been but little, if any, intercourse then with 
Spain; the ports of Spain being either in the hands of the 
Spanish Junta or blockaded by the English. From 1814 on, 
after the restoration of the Spanish kingdom, the records were 
nearly complete; and that they were quite useful, as well as 
attractive, may be inferred from the names of some of the 
gentlemen who represented our country at the court of Mad- 
rid, such as John Forsyth of Georgia, later secretary of 
state, Alexander H. Everett of Massachusetts, Cornelius Van 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 287 

Ness of Vermont, Washington Irving, Pierre Soule, General 
Wm. Preston of Kentucky, and Carl Schurz. 

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS OF SPAIN AND THE UNITED STATES 

From these records two things appeared very prom- 
inent, the unceasing efforts made by the administrations 
of Pierce and Buchanan to induce Spain to cede to us the 
island of Cuba, by tempting offers of buying at almost any 
price, or by the use of intimidating and threatening language, 
as well as the litter failure of these efforts, owing to the 
indignant, refusals of Spain. My attention was directed to 
the repeated protests on the part of Mr. Seward against the 
proclamation of neutrality, which recognized the Confederates 
as belligerents. At the same time, however, Mr. Seward had 
acknowledged very freely that Spain had given this act a 
most friendly interpretation in our favor, far different from 
the one adopted by England and France ; and had repeatedly 
charged Mr. Schurz and Mr. Perry to express the satisfaction 
of the President with the conduct of the Spanish government. 

There was also a mild protest against the annexation of 
Santo Domingo by Spain in 1861. General Sanana of that 
island had made himself by a coup d'etat president and dic- 
tator of the island, and immediately afterwards offered it as 
a province to Spain, which took possession of it by troops 
sent from Cuba, and finally incorporated it by a decree of 
the Cortes. 

On my arrival, I soon found that the government had al- 
ready become tired of this new acquisition. Constant insur- 
rections had broken out; the troops were decimated by the 
climate; and the expenses were heavy; and no adequate re- 
turns were received. I heard this annexation openly de- 
nounced by some of the highest officers of the army, and even 
the ministry was divided on it; it was very clear that the 
thing would be soon given up. The ministers were only pre- 
vented by pride from doing so, but the moment the energetic 
Narvaez was put at the head of affairs in 1865, the dominion 



288 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

of Spain over Santo Domingo was abandoned. Under these 
circumstances, I thought it best to let this Santo Domingo 
affair rest in abeyance, and not trouble the government with 
it ; the more so, as we were by no means in a position at that 
time to make our protest good vi et armis. 

WAR NEWS 

For the latest news from the United States was very 
discouraging. The victory of Antietam had not been fol- 
lowed up by McClellan, and his delay was made the cause of 
removing him from the army and appointing General Burn- 
side in his place. Owing to this, and also to the President's 
preliminary proclamation of partial emancipation in Sep- 
tember, the election had turned in some of the Northern 
States against the Republican party, which success was 
really more hurtful to us than a defeat in the field, as it 
would seem to indicate a strong feeling in the North against 
the continuation of the war. Letters from my friends assured 
me that the defeat was owing to other causes; but the dis- 
astrous defeat of Burnside at Fredericksburg in December 
did not tend to remove the gloom with which the election news 
had filled me. 

While at Frankfort, Sophie, who had been very active 
at home in the ladies' aid society, suggested to her sister 
Margaret Hilgard the idea of forming similar societies in 
Germany for the aid of Union soldiers. Mrs. Hilgard at once 
warmly offered her services. But she thought it would be 
better for Sophie to issue an address to the ladies of Ger- 
many favorable to our cause, as it would perhaps have more 
effect, coming from her as the wife of the representative of 
the United States. I did not care so much about the value 
of the actual aid offered by such a step as for the expressions 
of sympathy with the Union that would come from Germans 
in this manner. But I thought it best to delay the matter 
until I was accredited in Madrid. 

So, not long after I had been received, Sophie made an 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 289 

appeal to the ladies of Germany for donations of lint, warm 
underclothing and other useful articles for our soldiers, 
which appeal was published in the Frankfort papers. Mrs. 
Hilgard became president of the Frankfort society, and a 
large quantity of the needful articles was soon collected. 
The Hamburg-American Steamboat Company advertised that 
no charge for freight would be made. The consuls at Frank- 
fort and Mannheim published acknowledgments of thanks to 
Sophie and to the presidents of the local committees, stating 
that no less than five tons of hospital goods had been al- 
ready shipped, and that more were to come. The New York 
Ladies' Aid Society also returned very sincere thanks; and, 
as I expected, this action of the ladies from all parts of 
Germany was at the time much appreciated in the United 
States. 

A BESAMANOS AT THE COURT OF SPAIN 

Owing to the fact that the material for Sophie's court- 
dress had to come from Paris, there was some delay in her 
attending the Besamanos or great court-festivities. To the 
Queen and King and to the Infantes Francisco de Paula and 
Sebastian Gabriel, she had been presented in private audience, 
where court dress was not required. Something rather amus- 
ing happened when she was present at the first Besamanos. 
This hand-kissing for gentlemen takes place in the magnificent 
throne-hall, where the King and Queen sit on an estrado, and 
where, on a little lower one, sit the Princess of Asturia, the 
oldest daughter, and little Alfonso, the oldest son; the King 
in the uniform of a field-marshal (captain-general), and the 
Queen effulgent with the most costly diamonds and pearls; 
little Alfonso in the uniform of a corporal of the rifles; on 
the side of the Queen, the ministers of state, archbishops, 
bishops, and the highest court-officials; and on the side of 
the King the ladies in waiting. The diplomatic corps stand 
opposite the throne, mere spectators to the bowing and kiss- 
ing, until the last persons have passed out of the room, when 
the King and Queen and the children come down and go 



290 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

around the circle. I may remark here, that the King always 
insisted that the Infanta Maria Isabella, then about fourteen 
years of age, should talk to me in English. But she was 
very bashful and it was hard for her to make even the usual 
inquiries after the health of my wife and daughters. She 
pronounced her words well, and appeared to be quite sweet, 
but was a very delicate-looking girl, blue-eyed and light- 
haired. 

After this Besamanos is over in the throne-room, in which 
all the military officers then in Madrid, the cadets, the judges 
of the higher courts, the chiefs of all the departments, the 
professors of the University and the members of the various 
academies, senators and members of the Cortes, the mayor and 
municipality of Madrid, and hundreds of other officials parti- 
pate, the King, Queen, and children then pass into another 
large audience-room, where the ladies of the diplomatic corps 
are assembled and form a circle. 

As the Besamanos sometimes lasts for hours, the ladies 
have to wait quite long, even when they arrive later than their 
husbands. Now, when Sophie went there the first time, she 
found all the ladies standing, with their immense trains 
thrown over their arms; and, as the attendance at the Besa- 
manos happened to be very large, they were getting very tired. 
There were, however, all around the walls soft and commodi- 
ous arm-chairs. "Why," said she, "are we tiring ourselves 
out by standing up here?" and with this she took a chair. 
The other ladies stared at her, and said they had never be- 
fore used the chairs. It was the custom, they said, to await 
the royal party standing, though they were always announced 
by a chamberlain before they entered. But, finally, one after 
another followed the example set by Sophie, and wondered 
why they had not done so before. 

DIPLOMATIC TROUBLES. CUBA AND MEXICO 

I found myself in my diplomatic business by no means in a 
bed of roses. Spain was at this time, with the exception of 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 291 

the English and French missions, more important than any 
other. In quiet times it might have been an easy place; but 
not so now. The "Montgomery" affair was made the occa- 
sion, I will not say the pretext, (for in fact it was an ugly 
piece of business), for some very serious violations of inter- 
national law on the part of the Cuban authorities against us. 
Many leading secessionists and many leading merchants of 
New Orleans, engaged in the Cuban trade, had resorted to 
Cuba, and taking possession of the press, had exercised a bane- 
ful influence on the Cuban people. The President's emanci- 
pation proclamation had alarmed the slave-holding popula- 
tion, and had added fuel to the fire. I was instructed to lay 
a whole batch of very grave complaints before the minister of 
foreign affairs, demanding redress. The old question of mari- 
time jurisdiction, (Spain claiming six sea-miles from the 
shore as Spanish territory, while by international law but 
three were allowed,) loomed up again. This Cuban question 
gave rise to many verbal and to more written communications 
with the ministry. Again, great difficulties had arisen be- 
tween General Butler at New Orleans and the Spanish mer- 
chants residing there, and also between him and the command- 
er of the Spanish man-of-war "Blascode, " relating to the 
rights of asylum, the Spaniard refusing to deliver up fugitive 
secessionists whom Butler had ordered to be arrested. 

A most voluminous correspondence between Senor Tassara, 
the Spanish minister at Washington, and Mr. Seward, as 
also between General Butler and the Spanish commander of 
the "Gasco de Garay," between Butler and a number of 
Spanish merchants, together with General Butler's reports 
and the reports of the other side, had been transmitted to 
me, with the request to make myself familiar with the records 
and to present and express the views of our government to 
the Madrid authorities. I was also asked to find out the real 
difficulty which threatened war between Spain and Peru and 
to offer our mediation. 

At the same time the Mexican question had come up. 



292 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Spain, which had become a party, with England and France, 
October, 1861, to a convention to which our government had 
been invited, but had declined, and by which they undertook 
to enforce their respective claims against Mexico by a joint 
military and naval expedition, had withdrawn from the com- 
pact early in 1862, when General Prim, who commanded the 
Spanish forces and was acting at the same time as plenipoten- 
tiary, discovered that France was pursuing a plan to upset 
the Liberal government of Juarez and to reinstate the clerical 
party with a view to turning Mexico into a monarchy. This 
act of Prim was approved by the Liberal party and also by 
a majority of the ministry, but had given great umbrage to 
the clerical and French party, and, above all, had excited the 
anger of Louis Napoleon. His ambassador had raised a great 
storm, and had frightened the O'Donnell ministry, though it 
always denied it. Of course, the United States could not be 
but highly gratified with Prim's conduct, and it was our 
policy to embrace every opportunity to sustain him and to 
express to the ministry the great satisfaction we felt at the 
noble conduct of Spain. Still when the Cortes opened, on 
the first of December, the Queen was induced to propose a 
renewal of the convention, so as to try to assuage the wrath 
of Louis Napoleon, but upon conditions which, it was well 
known, the Emperor would not accept, namely, that the 
powers, (England had quietly withdrawn the small naval 
force which she had furnished), would not interfere with the 
internal government of Mexico, but would leave the people 
perfectly free to settle their form of government in their own 
way. This course, however, appeared to Prim and to the 
Progresista and democratic parties vacillating and contrary to 
the former policy of the government, which had explicit^ 
and thoroughly approved of General Prim's conduct. I had 
many conversations with Prim. He made a speech in the 
Senate, in which he vindicated his course, denounced the at- 
tempts to conciliate Napoleon, spoke most hopefully of the 
success of the North in subduing the Rebellion, and went so 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 293 

far as to say that the United States would very soon be in a 
condition to stand on the Monroe Doctrine and drive the 
French out. He sent me a number of copies of his speech. 

"While using my best endeavors to keep the Spanish gov- 
ernment straight on the Mexican question, I had also to watch 
constantly the efforts made by the French to induce Spain to 
join her in recognizing the Confederacy as an independent 
nation. 

Add to this a lively correspondence with the various 
consuls we had in Spanish ports, and the claims made by our 
people on the one hand and by the Spanish authorities on the 
other, some of which involved very nice questions of civil and 
international law, and I can really say I had my hands full. 
One incident is quite interesting. At the end of November 
I received through Mr. Sprague, our consul at Algeciras, a 
communication from Captain Winslow of the "Kearsage," 
which steamer had chased the Confederate cruiser "Sumter" 
into the port of Gibraltar, from where he supposed she would 
come out again flying the English flag under the pretense of 
having been sold to an English subject. He asked me what 
he should do about it, and to telegraph him immediately my 
instructions. It was short: "Captain Winslow: Take her 
outside of the three miles, if you can. ' ' He telegraphed back : 
''All right." Mr. Sprague soon advised me that the "Sum- 
ter" was advertised for sale in Gibraltar. I instructed him 
to give notice in the public papers at Gibraltar that such a 
sale would not change the character of the vessel, which had 
entered the port under a rebel flag, and that it would not be 
recognized by the United States. Though Captain Winslow 
watched the "Sumter" closely, on a foggy night the vessel 
escaped, to the great chagrin of the brave captain, who was 
afterwards more fortunate with the "Alabama" at Havre. 

In a despatch to Mr. Seward, December 10, 1862, after- 
informing the government that France would not receive any 
offers of Spain to renew the joint convention, and had de- 
clared that she would not listen to any foreign powers until 



294 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the French arms (defeated at their first assault at Pueblo) 
would be vindicated and the city of Mexico occupied by the 
French army, I continued in the rather prophetic words: 
"My impression is that Spain will remain detached from 
France in this Mexican imbroglio, which will save her much 
expense, and will make her popular in Mexico, and, let me 
add, in the United States. I think we should improve every 
opportunity to persuade Spam to stand aloof in this matter 
and to let the man of the 2d of December, as Louis Napoleon 
is usually called in the Spanish press, pursue his plans, which 
will ultimately prepare for him the fate of his uncle, if not 
a worse one." 

From October the 20th, 1862, to July the 14th, 1864, I 
sent one hundred and fourteen despatches, and received as 
many from Mr. Seward. Besides, there were sent from the 
legation a vast number of extracts from the leading Spanish 
papers, from the debates in the Cortes, from messages and 
other documents bearing on the United States, such as the 
Mexican question, the annexation of Santo Domingo, the 
Cuban and New Orleans difficulties, the recognition of the 
rebel government, the Spanish-Peruvian question, all trans- 
lated at the legation, between the receipt of the papers and 
the departing of the mails. In return, Mr. Seward sent me 
most voluminous documents referring to Spanish matters 
treated by him with the Spanish minister at Washington, with 
instructions to study and make use of them in my communica- 
tions with the Spanish government. 

Amongst other documents Mr. Seward sent me were those 
in the celebrated Arguelles extradition case. Arguelles, gov- 
ernor of the province of Colon, Cuba, was charged with hav- 
ing favored the importation of one hundred slaves stolen from 
Africa and of having sold them for his benefit. He fled to 
the United States, and Spain had asked to have him delivered 
up. There was no treaty of extradition between the United 
States and Spain, but Seward delivered him over to the 
Cuban authorities on general principles. The papers relat- 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 295 

ing to this matter filled fifty printed pages in the diplomatic 
correspondence. 

My correspondence with the Spanish authorities was also 
very lively. What caused a good deal of trouble and labor 
was the frequent change of ministers and particularly those 
of foreign affairs. Within less than two years I had to deal 
with Calderon Collantes, Marshal Serrano, the Marquis de 
Miraflores, Senor Arrazola and Senor Francisco Pacheco. 
Hence immense delay, as the new ministers had always to in- 
form themselves on the condition of affairs, and hence new 
discussions on points almost settled with former ministers. 

GENERAL PRIM 

With General Prim, I had of course much intercourse, 
though mostly when we met at parties or on public occasions. 
As he was then rather in opposition to the ministry, it would 
not have been prudent to have shown a close intimacy; but 
his faithful friend and adjutant, General Milan de Dosch, 
acted as a sort of intermediary. In my book "Aus Spanien" 
I have essayed to give a rather full description of General 
Prim's character. In my despatches I called him "the com- 
ing man." I will give here only a short extract from what 
I wrote in 1869 : 

"Don Juan Prim y Prats, Conde de Reus, Marquis de 
Castillejos, is the son of poor parents and owes all he is, as 
the most distinguished man in Spain, to his bravery and his 
talents. He won his first spurs in the war against the Carl- 
ists and his special renown in the campaign against Morocco 
(1859) and in the Mexican expedition or rather in his aban- 
donment of it. 

"He is an adventurer in the noblest and extreme sense 
of that word. Nearly fifty years of age (1866), he is of 
medium size, broad across the shoulders and breast, and yet 
slender, as nearly all Spaniards are ; his face is very pale, or 
rather of a light olive color; his hair and beard are blue- 
black; his eyes large and black. His nose is broad and his 
mouth large. The expression of his face would indicate 
kindness and even joviality. He is full of courage and afraid 
of nothing when he wishes to gratify his ambition. He is, 



296 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

as are most Spaniards, an orator; and his speech in the 
Senate, lasting several days, in which he justified his conduct 
in Mexico, threw boldly the gauntlet into the Emperor Napo- 
leon 's face (whose friend he formerly was and who from a 
certain sympathy with adventurers helped him to his com- 
mand of the Spanish forces in Mexico), and in which he 
pronounced the United States a very great and most power- 
ful nation, which would in spite of her present troubles vin- 
dicate the Monroe Doctrine and drive the French out of the 
country, was in many respects a masterpiece of eloquence." 

Prim spoke with perfect calmness and self-possession, 
using at times humor and irony. He courted interruptions 
and answered them often in a jocular manner, touching sub- 
stantial objections but lightly. His gestures were easy and 
graceful. He appeared in elegant morning dress, which is 
the custom here in assemblies, his small hands in spotless 
kid gloves, which are never permitted to be drawn off. In 
Spanish legislatures for that reason alone boxing matches 
could hardly take place, as have occasionally been witnessed 
elsewhere. 

It is well known how, having been unjustly banished by 
Narvaez in 1865, he raised the banner of revolt unsuccessfully, 
fled to Portugal, and then to England, but joined the revolt 
at Cadiz in 1868 with Serrano, Cordova, Dulce, Zavalla and 
Topete (his former opponents), in consequence of which ris- 
ing Serrano became regent, and Prim was made a marshal and 
minister of war in the provincial government. He then tried 
his hand as king-maker, unsuccessfully first with the Prince of 
Hohenzollern (furnishing thereby not the cause, but the 
occasion for the Franco-Germian war and Napoleon's down- 
fall), then successfully with Amadeo, son of Victor Emanuel 
of Italy, whom he made king, but was assassinated in the 
streets of Madrid the very night of the day that Amadeo 
landed on the Spanish coast. 

PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS OF MADRID 

Public amusements there were many, but we did not fre- 
quent them much. Boxes, being subscribed for by the year, 



were as a rule unobtainable; so the Royal Opera was closed 
to us except when some of the regular subscribers offered 
their seats to us or on the few days when the subscriptions 
were suspended. Gustave and myself, however, went occa- 
sionally, as it were, incognito, into the orchestra stalls, where 
evening dress was not required. La Grange the first season, 
and Adelina Patti the second, were the prime donne. The 
company were entirely Italians. One beautiful woman, 
Senorita Calderon, a soubrette, was the only Spanish woman. 
The chorus was poor, the ballet insignificant, and made its 
appearance only in one or two operas; but the orchestra was 
superb. The Spaniards do not like ballets. In the minor 
theatres, at the conclusion of the performance, there were 
dances or ''ballets" of a national character by a small corps, 
and they were the niiost decorous that can be imagined, while 
very graceful. The travelers' talk of the voluptuous boleros 
or cachucha the word "fandago" I never heard in Spain 
is mostly moonshine. I have seen on the banks of the Man- 
zanares young nurses or washerwomen take from their apron 
pockets castanets and indulge in a little dance with soldiers 
happening to pass by, but these dances were as simple as 
they were modest. On Sundays in the open pleasure-gardens 
the dancing of the ordinary people was the waltz, gallop or 
quadrille, just as in other countries. 

The repertoire of the opera was very limited. Such 
operas as "Masaniello" and "William Tell," were considered 
revolutionary, and ' ' Robert le Diable, ' ' the ' ' Huguenots ' ' and 
the "Prophets," as offensive to the Catholic religion. Mozart 
and Beethoven were above the singing powers of the Italians. 
"Don Juan" was the only opera sometimes given, but it was 
always a fiasco, at least to German ears. Donizetti, Verdi, and 
Bellini ruled the day. 

The Opera House is a splendid spacious building, seat- 
ing about two thousand persons. The boxes are large, sep- 
arated from one another by a thin wall, and having a cosy 
ante-room. It is doubtful whether the ladies in their richly 



298 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

decorated boxes, in the fullest evening dress, glittering with 
diamonds and pearls of fabulous value, do not often present 
a much more attractive sight than the stage itself. As in 
other countries very great beauty is found only among the 
highest classes, where the ladies make a study of the preserva- 
tion of their health, complexion, and form, and where they 
have the leisure to do it. And dress helps a good deal. 
That beauty "unadorned is the highest beauty" sounds well 
in poetry, but does not prove true in reality. 

People here as in Italy go to the theatre more to see 
other people and to be seen than to look at the play. They 
converse together, and the ladies receive visits from their 
friends, and often retire to the ante-room to have a quiet talk. 
They have heard these operas a hundred times, and only 
listen when a favorite singer or a new prima donna appears on 
the boards. 

For legitimate tragedy and comedy the Theatre del 
Principe is the foremost place. The great tragedienne was 
Matilde Diaz, then about fifty years old, but appearing still 
in roles of young women. She must have been once very 
beautiful, and having then become a great favorite, the Span- 
iards still adored her and applauded her as warmly as ever, 
not for what she was, but for what she had been. It is, 
however, a national trait in Spain, as with the Orientals, to 
treat age with the utmost respect. I have been told by cred- 
ible persons that young gentlemen and ladies never 
marry unless their parents approve of the match, and I have 
heard of a case where the marriage was delayed because the 
grandmother was opposed to it. 

BULL-FIGHTS 

There were also some very excellent circuses. One called 
the American Circus, we sometimes patronized. As to the 
bull-fights, I with Gustave attended but one, pronounced by 
the connoisseurs as "muy magnifico. " Some half a dozen 
horses were killed. Nearly as many "picadores" were un- 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 299 

horsed and badly bruised by their fall. Four fierce bulls were 
killed. These "Corridas de Toros" have been so often de- 
scribed that the subject is worn threadbare. In my "Aus 
Spanien" I did not for that reason allude to them, nor do I 
wish to say more now than that if these fights were not so 
cruel they would certainly be called magnificent. Here were 
some twelve thousand people of all classes, in all sorts of 
costumes, seated in an amphitheatre around an arena of enor- 
mous size, always demonstrative and often wildly excited, 
applauding or hissing. The grace and agility displayed by 
the chulos, and the banderilleros, who when hard pressed 
vault over the barriers separating the lower tiers from the 
arena, are really admirable. They are in their beautiful cos- 
tumes really a personification of youth, grace and dash. The 
killer of the bulls, or matador, though he is usually called 
here the "espada," is of course looked upon as the chief of 
the performers. About the mere killing of the bull the Span- 
iards do not care at all. It must be artistically done. The 
bull must be hit at the right place so that instantaneous 
death ensues; the thrust must be made gracefully. If there 
is any failure, the espada is hissed. If he succeeds, hundreds 
of cigars are thrown down to him by the spectators. Many 
in the excitement throw down in the arena their handker- 
chiefs, their hats, their manolas, their fans. How in the end 
they recover their property I cannot imagine. "What struck 
me as singular is the immense admiration the espada receives 
from the Spanish public. It must be only for their superior 
agility and gracefulness. For courage I think they have less 
need of than the poor picadores or the chulos and banderil- 
leros. The espada gives only the finishing stroke. The bulls 
have already been pierced by the lances of the picadores. 
The sharp tip of the lance is short, but still long enough to 
go through the skin, and after the bull gets through with the 
picadores the blood oozes out in numerous rills from the 
breast and the back of the animal. Then the banderilleros 
attack him on all sides, planting their arrows pretty deep 



300 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEB 

in his flesh. I discovered that some of the bulls when the 
matador finally met them were perfectly exhausted. The 
matador shakes his red silk flag at the bull, who rushes at 
him in a straight line. Of course the slightest motion of the 
man makes the bull pass by him. The bull is then turned 
back by the chulos and he again attacks the man, who by a 
mere turn foils the stroke of the bull. This is repeated over 
and over again until the people get tired and signify their 
displeasure. Then the man, stepping a few inches aside, 
plants his sharp, long blade between the shoulders of the bull, 
or tries to do so. If the bull had a little more sense, and would 
not rush on his adversary too fast, but would watch his mo- 
tions, and instead of running in a straight line, would deviate 
the same as the man does, there would soon be an end of all 
bull-fights. That there is not a great deal of danger to the 
matador in these fights, would appear from the fact that on 
an average only one gets killed in about five or six years, while 
there are a hundred bull-fights going on every year. Neither 
Gustave or I felt any desire to see a real bull-fight again, and 
all strangers except the English are usually more than satis- 
fied with one such inhuman sight. When I except the English 
I do not speak from my own knowledge, but I was told that 
most of them take as keen an interest in these amusements as 
the Spaniards. 

When I met General Grant in the summer of 1880, not 
long after his return from his journey around the world, at 
Manitou, Colorado, we, in the course of the conversation, spoke 
of our experiences in Spain. Bull-fights were mentioned. The 
General said, "I saw but one bull-fight, and I concluded I 
would never see one again; and, although at several cities I 
was specially invited to attend, I did not do so." This was 
rather surprising to me; for Grant, on his numerous battle- 
fields, must have witnessed scenes far more harassing than 
the most bloody bull-fights. Still, I thought the General de- 
served credit for his fine feeling. 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 301 

THE COUNTESS OF MONTIJO 

In speaking of our social intercourse, I must not fail to 
mention the very pleasant receptions of the mother of the 
Empress Eugenie, the Countess of Montijo. Her regular re- 
ception nights were on Sunday. She occupied a very hand- 
some palace, the vast vestibule and the noble broad staircase 
of which were quite remarkable. The principal reception- 
room was not very large, but was joined by a spacious con- 
servatory, filled with the finest and rarest flowers and plants 
and affording a delightful place for promenading. There was 
a music-room and other smaller rooms, in which hung a few 
paintings, but all masterpieces. I saw here some Teniers as 
fine as any in the Koyal Museum. Near the door of the re- 
ception-room the Countess always sat at the card-table. Your 
name having been announced, you entered and went up to 
her. She would half rise, bow and address you very kindly 
and politely and express a wish that you would find yourself 
pleased. She was then (1863) near sixty years of age, very 
tall, with full, soft, perfectly white hair, and had classical 
features, showing traces of great beauty. She was still in 
mourning for her daughter, the Duchess of Alba, who had 
died a few years before. It was indeed not hard to be pleased 
in her home. She had always, at her receptions, some ladies 
and gentlemen of fine musical talents. While the Countess 
was playing cards she watched the company closely, and when 
she thought the conversation was lagging, she was sure to send 
up some of the musical talent to enliven the company. The 
Spaniards one found there were all gentlemen who had been 
abroad, and spoke French, and some even German. You 
could play a game of whist, or amuse yourself looking over 
beautiful albums, or art-books and magazines, or all sorts of 
bric-a-brac on the mantel-pieces and consoles, or select a part- 
ner and promenade. Sophie frequently said that she had no- 
where in Madrid enjoyed herself better than at the Montijo 
receptions. The Countess had taken some interest in our son, 
and on his leaving she regretted very much his departure, 



302 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEENER 

and would always ask what news we had from Senorito Gus- 
tavo, and how much she would like to see him again. This 
may all have been but conventional talk, yet she at least meant 
to please us with it. 

In one of the rooms were the life-sized pictures of her 
two daughters, the Empress and the Duchess of Alba, taken 
when they were in the bloom of youth ; the Duchess of Alba 
was depicted in her riding habit, just buttoning one of her 
gauntlets, and both were painted by the best modern Spanish 
portrait-painter, Jose Madrazo. It is hard to say which of 
the sisters was the more beautiful. Eugenie's beauty was of 
world-wide repute, but her sister must have been at least her 
equal. Her hair was even more blond; her deep blue eyes 
larger ; her form as graceful, though a little fuller. I thought 
her more charming than the Empress. But opinions differ, 
of course. 

Speaking of the deceased daughter, I am led to say some- 
thing of her husband, the Duke of Alba de Tormes and Ber- 
wick, who claims also descent from the royal house of Stuart. 
He is the one who had the duel with the son of Pierre Soule, 
our minister to Spain under Pierce, and on whose account old 
Pierre Soule had a duel with the Marquis of Turgot, the 
French ambassador. He was a stout, but short man, had plain 
features and nothing haughty or Spanish about him. In con- 
versation he assumed a very familiar tone, and spoke his mean- 
ing very freely. A great sportsman, he was a dog-fancier and 
a turfman, betting highly at the English and French races, 
drove four-in-hands, and had an acknowledged mistress, who 
sat with him in his opera-box, drove out with him, etc. She 
was the Baroness D 'Ortego, the wife of a titular chancellor of 
the Portuguese legation. She was a splendid Spanish beauty, 
though then above thirty years of age, and very amiable. She 
gave fine parties at her house, her husband being conspicuously 
absent. No ladies, however, attended, except a few of her 
special friends and some ladies of the opera. The gentlemen 
enjoyed themselves very much. There was music and the- 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 303 

atrical performances, scenes from favorite operas, or some 
light one-act French comedy. She herself was a fine per- 
former, and the male parts were usually rendered by younger 
members of the diplomatic corps. As most of my colleagues 
did not fail to be present at the D 'Ortego parties, I also went 
there a couple of times and did not regret it. 

ART-TEEASUKES OF MADRID 

But if there had been no parties, no dinners, no theatres 
or bull-fights, the picture-galleries of the Royal Museum, of 
the Academy of San Fernando, of the Infante Gabriel, and 
of some private gentlemen, such as the great banker Salamanca, 
would alone have sufficed to give us not merely amusement, 
but real instruction and delight. I have devoted a great part 
of my book on Spain to a description of the principal master- 
pieces of those unsurpassed collections, and may therefore 
pass briefly over these treasures. 

The Museum itself was an immense building, and most 
of its salons received the light from above. When it is said 
that Murillo was represented in this gallery by forty-six of 
some of his finest pictures, such as the incomparable "Con- 
ception of the Virgin, ' ' pendant to the so much praised ' ' Con- 
ception" of the Louvre, but vastly surpassing it in sweetness 
and angelic purity; that Velasquez has all his masterpieces 
here, sixty-three in number, among them the world-renowned 
"Las Lanzas," the "Borrachos," the "Hilanderas" (Weav- 
ers), the "Meninas" and his unsurpassed portraits; that Rib- 
era (Spagnoletto) is represented by no less than sixty pic- 
tures; that all Spanish painters, such as Juan de Juanes, 
Alonzo Cano, Sanchez Coello, Ribalta, Zurbaran, who are all 
artists of very great merit, but whose works are seldom seen 
outside of Spain, are represented; that of Raphael we have 
ten pictures, and all of them masterpieces, such as the 
"Christ on his way to Calvary, breaking down under the 
cross (Spasimo de Sicilia)," the "Madonna of the Fish," the 
"Madonna of the Rose," the Madonna called "La Perla del 



304 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Museo," the "Meeting of Maria and Elizabeth," and the 
portrait of Cardinal de Medici ; that we find here the celebrat- 
ed "Mona Lisa" of Leonardo Da Vinci and two Luinis; that 
we have no less than forty Titians, amongst them some of the 
choicest masterpieces, twenty examples of Paul Veronese, as 
many Tintorettos, several Guido Renis, Bellinis, Giorgiones, 
Andrea Del Sartos, Piombos, Correggios, Caraccis, Bassanos, 
and Salvator Rosas, it is clear that this royal gallery is un- 
equalled by any other, and this without counting the sixty 
magnificent paintings by Rubens, the ten or twelve Van Dykes, 
the almost innumerable Teniers, the Snyders, Wouvermanns, 
Antonio Moros, the Berchems, the Ruysdaels, some splendid 
Van der Weydens, Memlings, Albrecht Duerers, Poussins, and 
Claude Lorrains. 

In these "holy halls" I passed many hours. Whenever 
I felt depressed, I went to the Museo, and returned refreshed 
and invigorated by those glorious visions. 

There are in the Academy of San Fernando, in the Calle 
Alcala, large collections of subjects of natural history, of 
which those of Spanish geology and mineralogy are highly 
interesting. But its small collection of paintings is superb. 
The large picture representing "Santa Isabel" (the Land- 
gravine Elizabeth of Thuringia) , were it not that the sick she 
is administering to are too realistic and somewhat repulsive, 
might almost be pronounced the greatest of all Murillo's cre- 
ations. The drawing, the coloring, the grouping, are incom- 
parable. The divine beauty of Santa Isabel has not been sur- 
passed by Raphael's Madonna della Sedia, his St. Cecilia, his 
Jardiniere, or his Sistine Madonna, This noble picture, like 
nearly all the masterpieces of Murillo and Raphael found in 
the Escurial, Madrid, and Seville, were abstracted by the 
French at the time of the invasion of 1808, but by the second 
treaty of Paris in 1815, were restored to Spain when all the 
treasures of the Louvre taken from Spain, Italy and Germany, 
had to be surrendered. Some, as the ' ' Conception ' ' of Murillo, 
now in the Louvre, were not returned. It was found after- 



305 

wards in the private collection of Marshal Soult, and bought 
from his heirs by the French government for $100,000. 

But in this Academy were also three splendid Murillos, 
some of the best works of Alonzo Cano, Zurbaran, Careno, 
Claudio Coello, and Rubens. Strange to say, there is not even 
a catalogue to be had of these three hundred pictures in the 
Academy of San Fernando. Speaking of this institution, I 
have remarked in "Aus Spanien": 

"The Academy has either no means or no taste (for there 
were fifty or more pictures in it mere rubbish). The good old 
Duke de Rivas, novelist and general art dilettante, holds the 
chair of president. Without the infusion of new life, this cre- 
ation of one of the best of the Bourbon kings, Charles III, will 
die of bureaucratic marasmus. Most of the Spaniards with 
whom I occasionally conversed about it, were surprised to 
learn what treasures it contained. But few strangers, even 
led hither by their guide-books, visited San Fernando. "When 
I entered it for the first time and presented my card I was 
shown about with the utmost indifference. Something like 
astonishment was expressed that I remained in the salons any 
length of time. When I repeated my visits, the half dozen 
officials (smoking and doing nothing) seemed to wonder at 
my curiosity, as far as Spaniards can wonder at anything. 
At last, the guide that usually accompanied me became almost 
interested in me and appeared to be glad that there was at 
least one human being in Madrid who patronized the subjects 
entrusted to his care." 

The National Museo in the building of the Ministry of 
Fomento (Internal Improvements) also contains some very 
fine paintings, but badly arranged and also without catalogue. 
It contains mostly Spanish paintings, some fine Riberas, 
Riccis, Carduchos, but what interested mje most was a copy 
of Raphael's "Transfiguration" by no less a painter than 
Julio Romano. It is a wonderful painting, painted for Charles 
V, and was previously in the Escurial. 

This "Transfiguration of Christ" I have never been able 
to understand. The ascension of Christ is, of course, a very 
plain idea; but the scene represented in the lower part of the 
picture, or rather its connection with the upper part, the 



306 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ascension, has always puzzled me. Goethe has tried to ex- 
plain it, but I think not satisfactorily. In spite of the fact 
that the vivifying idea of the picture was lost to me, yet the 
admirable drawing, the excellent grouping, the superhuman 
beauty of the women in the foreground, who, with the most 
perfect naturalness, turn to the "demoniac" boy, the fine 
transparent color, the distribution of lights, made a deep and 
lasting impression on me. 

The private gallery of the Infante Sebastian, in the Calle 
Alcala, contains some two hundred pieces, all of which have 
been selected with the utmost care and taste: fine Murillos, 
wonderful examples of Velasquez, several Riberas, Goyas, and 
Claude Lorrains, many old German masters of the most splen- 
did coloring, several pieces by Rubens and Titian, six grand 
Salvator Rosas, one Rembrandt, Raphael, Domenichino, Cor- 
reggio, a great many of the finest Teniers, Snyders, and some 
of the best other Spanish painters. The gallery is open on all 
days except rainy ones, and, as these are very few, the Infante 
has shown certainly great liberality. But it was then a sort of 
"terra incognita." I found myself the only visitor every 
time. Yet it cannot be said that the Madrid public cares little 
about pictures. The Royal Museum on Sundays, the only 
day it is open to everybody, is always crowded, and, what is 
seldom found in the rest of Europe, is frequented by the 
lower classes, by peasants of the neighborhood, by soldiers, 
and male and female servants. All these visitors distinguish 
themselves by their quiet and correct behavior, and by their 
perfect ease while moving about on the marble floor amidst 
the higher classes and surrounded by the most resplendent 
treasures of art. 

POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC COMPLICATIONS 

Early in January (1863) the O'Donnell ministry quite 
unexpectedly tendered its resignation. The Queen did not 
accept it, but still a modification was made. The minister of 
foreign affairs, Calderon Collantes, was supplanted by Gen- 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 307 

eral Serrano, Duke de la Torre. Though denied by 'Donnell, 
this was undoubtedly done to reconcile the Emperor Napoleon. 
Serrano was an enemy of Prim, and was supposed to be very 
favorably inclined to the French government. A bold, daring 
soldier, just then returned from Cuba, where he had been 
captain-general, this change, I thought, boded no good to our 
interests and would make my position rather more difficult. 
The atmosphere of the island where he had passed the last 
few years, and where the "Montgomery" affair and other 
difficulties had just happened, was one not favorable to the 
Union cause. I was, however, greatly disappointed. I found 
him the most pleasant of all foreign ministers to deal with. 
There was no circumlocution about him. He was frank and 
straight, and spoke to the point, and yet was always courte- 
ous and even cordial. Our grievances he found in great part 
well-founded, and promised redresses. On some points he 
begged me to give him time for further investigation until 
he could hear from the Cuban authorities. He was a very 
handsome man, extraordinarily so, with graceful manners, 
and a man of the world. If it was true, as was universally 
believed, that he became so much a favorite of the young 
Queen, soon after her marriage, as to arouse the jealousies of 
the King, who left Madrid and for a long time lived at the 
Prado Palace, separately from the Queen, the lady showed 
at least very good taste. Of course, more than ten years had 
passed since, but the General was still a model of manly beauty. 
His wife was also one of the great belles of Madrid, and of 
his two young daughters one could say "pulchra mater, 
pulchrior filia." 

In my "Aus Spanien," I said of Serrano that there was 
a great future before him. He was still in high favor with 
the Queen, was a man of brilliant manners, an excellent sol- 
dier, and possessed of a vast fortune. To a certain degree he 
was even liberal and took great interest in colonial affairs. 
He had a keen intellect, and was merciless if necessary. In 
the revolution of 1868 he was the main hero, became regent 



308 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

of Spain after Isabella's dethronement, until the election of 
Amadeo as King in December, 1870, and then was made prime 
minister. After the resignation of Amadeo in 1872, and the 
short and strange reign of the Republic, Serrano made an end 
of it, and Alphonso, Isabella's son, was returned to the throne 
under a liberal constitution. 

But my relations with General Serrano came to a rather 
speedy end. In March the O'Donnell ministry had to resign, 
and the Marquis of Miraflores, a liberal Moderado, became 
minister-president and also minister of foreign affairs. 

"While Serrano was minister, I had a very singular ex- 
perience of some of the diplomatic ruses, in which sometimes 
Mr. Seward indulged himself, not always successfully. In 
one of my interviews with Marshal Serrano, after having 
finished our discussion of official business, we came to speak of 
things generally. A letter written by the Emperor Na- 
poleon to General Forey in July, had just been published in 
some of the French papers and had created a great sensation. 
In it the Emperor indicated the object of the Mexican expedi- 
tion to be to prevent the encroachment of the Anglo-Saxon 
race upon the Latin civilization existing in the southern part 
of the American continent, a task which devolved on France 
as the head of that civilization. This, of course, was aimed 
at the United States. 

Serrano said he was not surprised at the contents of the 
letter, but rather by its indiscreet publication. He did not 
think, however, that Napoleon would attempt to impose a 
dynasty on Mexico ; he thought this was impracticable and that 
the Emperor would retire as soon as the military honor of 
France was vindicated. I took a different view; said that I 
was satisfied that the Emperor was pursuing a deep laid 
scheme of interference and of the establishment of a monarchy, 
trying to take advantage of our trouble; that, however, we 
should never allow a foreign power, against the will of the 
Mexican people, to force a monarchy on that country. 

This official interview, and also a subsequent conversation, 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 309 

I reported to Mr. Seward, in a despatch, Number 22, of the 
31st of January, 1863, particularly calling Mr. Seward 's atten- 
tion to the letter of the Emperor. 

In reply, Mr. Seward wrote that the President had fully 
approved of the presentation of our claims to the Duke de la 
Torre, but had disapproved of my remarks made concerning 
the Mexican question and the Emperor Napoleon; that the 
United States placed the utmost confidence in the loyalty of 
the Emperor, who was only intent on settling the just claims of 
the French citizens and so forth ; and that I should call on the 
Duke de la Torre and tell him that the views I had expressed 
relating to his Imperial Majesty were only my private views, 
noways committing my government. "When I read this des- 
patch in the presence of Mr. Perry, we both simultaneously 
remarked that this despatch had been read to the French 
minister at Washington, before it was sent. And sure enough, 
when the next year's diplomatic correspondence was printed 
and published as one of the public documents, I found a des- 
patch from Mr. Dayton, our minister to Paris, to Mr. Seward, 
containing the following message : ' ' Showed your despatch to 
Mr. Koerner, our minister to Spain, to Mr. Drouyn de 1'Huys, 
who expressed very great satisfaction at its contents." 

Now it was well known that General Prim, after he had 
withdrawn the Spanish forces from Mexico, alleging that the 
government of France was pursuing plans of subverting the 
Republican government, on his return to Spain, by way of 
the United States, was received there with enthusiasm; that 
the entire press of the North highly approved of his conduct ; 
and that President Lincoln and Seward treated him with the 
utmost courtesy and respect. Mr. Perry, before my arrival, 
and I, afterwards, had expressed to the Spanish government 
our great satisfaction at the action of Spain in withdrawing 
from the convention, and had always put forth our most stren- 
uous efforts when there appeared the least vacillation in a min- 
istry on this point, all of which had been reported to Mr. 
Seward and was by him always approved. Besides, the Ameri- 



310 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

can, and a great many organs of the European, press had de- 
nounced the claims of French citizens as wholly fraudulent 
and as gotten up by the Emperor's personal followers. The 
lower house of Congress had passed a resolution against any 
interference of European powers in establishing a dynasty in 
Mexico, and the American newspapers had endorsed this res- 
olution unanimously. 

Could Mr. Seward reasonably believe that hi the face of 
this public opinion he could dupe and mystify so keen and 
practiced a diplomat as Drouyn de 1'Huys and his master? 
It seems that he did. 

In my reply to Mr. Seward I rather ironically stated 
that I was sorry that the President differed so widely from 
the views which I had expressed in a friendly conversation 
with General Serrano ; that, however, this gentleman was min- 
ister no more ; and that if the President wished that I should 
entertain his successor with that affair and clear our govern- 
ment of the suspicion of distrusting the Emperor, I should do 
so, if instructed. Of course I was not so instructed, but ad- 
vised to drop the matter. Mr. Seward undoubtedly thought 
that he had made a good point at the Tuileries. 

I must say, however, that this was the only time that Mr. 
Seward visited me with disapproval, which was only ostensi- 
ble and not meant as such, as he knew me well enough to 
know that I would see through it at once. In all his corres- 
pondence he showed the utmost delicacy and courtesy and in 
almost every instance expressed his approval in very flatter- 
ing terms. The public diplomatic correspondence, as printed 
in almost every case, except that relating to England and 
France, which, of course, at that time was exceedingly volum- 
inous, is very meagre, and I think that such a stunted and 
mutilated diplomatic correspondence does very little good and 
is very apt to create erroneous views with the general public. 

In Madrid, the O'Donnell ministry (Union Liberal) ex- 
ploded. Nobody knew or dared say openly, why? Narvaez, 
the head of the Moderados, was called upon to form a ministry, 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 311 

but the Queen became alarmed, as she was told the people 
would rise. Miraflores, a Moderado too, of a more liberal turn, 
was entrusted with the government. He was an old gentle- 
man of the old school; he had been a page at the court of 
Joseph Bonaparte, which was thrown up to him every day by 
the opposition papers. Most ceremonious and polished in his 
manners, my interviews with him were rather more formal 
than those with his predecessor. He rejoiced in the general 
discussion of international law, and plumed himself on his 
superior diplomacy. He had, indeed, in times now long past, 
been a cabinet minister, and ambassador to Rome, London 
and Paris. He reminded me a good deal of old Polonius. In 
one respect he was an improvement. He gave us frequently 
the finest dinners at his palace. The Pope's nuncio only 
was equal to him in this respect. He himself confessed that 
for many years he had been retired from active public life, 
(though he had been in the Senate all the time,) and had 
paid little attention to the present state of affairs. The con- 
sequence was that I had to commence db ovo, and to go over 
again the whole ground that had been covered by Perry, 
Schurz and myself, a tedious business. 

AMERICAN VISITORS 

Early in the spring, Mr. Payne left us, and the other at- 
tache, Irving Van Wart, came back from England. He was 
a fine, jovial, vivacious young man, fond of society, and was 
very popular with the young men of the diplomatic corps 
and their Spanish associates. He had become quite a hero in 
Madrid on account of his pluck. Walking in the Calle Jeronimo 
once, he came across a big Spanish bully who was beating a 
woman. Van Wart, though a small man in comparison, but 
a fine pugilist, sprang to the woman's assistance, knocking 
the fellow down with one blow between the eyes and gave 
him a big thrashing to the delight of a crowd of bystanders, 
who, however, had been quiet spectators. 

Not long afterwards we were surprised by visitors. Ex- 



'312 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Governor Matteson, of Illinois, his wife and two beautiful 
daughters, Clara and Arabella, a Miss Payne, of Cleveland, 
a daughter of Senator Payne, of Ohio, and now wife of Wil- 
liam C. "Whitney, Secretary of the Navy under Cleveland, 
and my old warm friend, Curran, of Springfield. Mrs. Matte- 
son, Clara and Bella had been friends of our Augusta at 
Springfield, and I had been, of course, much in the family as 
Lieutenant-Governor when Matteson was Governor. 

We did everything in our power to make their stay agree- 
able. When the ladies, Mrs. Matteson being herself still a 
very handsome woman, and the girls, all blondes with rosy, 
delicate complexions, drove into the Fuente Castellana, they 
created quite a sensation, and sustained the reputation for 
beauty which the American ladies had in Madrid. Colonel 
Preston's daughter was also very beautiful, and it was *aid 
that no less a person than the Duke de Ossuna, the richest and 
most titled grandee of Spain, had come very near offering her 
his hand. The young Mattesons made one conquest, when, af- 
ter a few days' stay at Madrid, the party left for Andalusia 
and Morocco, and Irving Van Wart joined them as guide, pro- 
viding himself with a full Andalusian costume. 

The sea-voyage and the journey through France, Ger- 
many and Switzerland of last year, had somewhat improved 
my health, but the acute climate of Madrid had seriously 
affected me. While Sophie and the children enjoyed good 
health, my nervous system became again very much disar- 
ranged. Violent headaches and shooting pains through the 
head made me sometimes for days unfit to do my work. Sleep- 
lessness was almost constant. As the court leaves Madrid in 
May and June for Aranjuez, and in July and August for 
La Gran j a, way up in the Guadarrama Mountains (a second 
Versailles), and the ministry follows the court, the diplomatic 
body, if they are not absent on leave, also resort to those 
places, at least to La Granja. The fact is that during the 
summer months very little official business is transacted. 
Nearly all the foreign ministers leave the capital. Under 



SPANISH POLITICS AND SPANISH ART 313 

these circumstances I asked and obtained leave of absence for 
three months to commence the middle of June. 

But before leaving for the north of Europe, (sea-bathing 
having been recommended,) we made a tour to Andalusia. 
In my "Aus Spanien" I published a number of letters 
descriptive of this journey, addressed to our Mary at home, 
hence I shall here only touch on some of the principal inci- 
dents. 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

Granada, tine Alhawibra, and Seville 

Leaving Madrid in the evening of the 5th of May by rail, 
we arrived at four o'clock in the morning at Santa Cruz de 
Mudela, the terminus of the railroad toward Cordova. There 
we were transferred to the stage of the Postas G-ranadinas. 
No stranger has written about Spain without giving an account 
of the Spanish diligencias with their "mayorals" (conduct- 
ors), "zagals" (assistant drivers and runners), and "de- 
lanteros" (postilions riding the foremost near horse), and a 
multitude of mules and horses, sometimes as many as eight, 
decorated with all sorts of ribbons, tassels and bells. "Wash- 
ington Irving has used in their description his light fantastic 
pen. Alexander Dumas, Theophile Gautier, Wachenhusen 
and Hacklander have left us most vivid pictures of these 
queer conveyances. Hacklander carries off the palm. More 
even than Dickens, he has an eye for animals, particularly 
horses, and for all sorts of vehicles, for harnesses, for drivers, 
and, in fact, for everything belonging to the stable. Without 
meaning to detract in the least from his great talent for photo- 
graphing other pictures of life, I may say that we owe to 
Hacklander the poetry of the stable, in its nobler significa- 
tion of course. I could repeat only what these distinguished 
travelers have written upon the subject with more or less 
ability. I will confine myself, therefore, to a short sketch 
given by a talented Spanish writer, Don Juan Garcia, of 
Madrid, who a few weeks before we, for the first time, trusted 
ourselves to the diligencia, published an account of his tour 
through Andalusia. 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 315 

THE SPANISH DILIGENCE 

' ' This old-fashioned mode of traveling, ' ' he wrote, ' ' if less 
convenient, has nevertheless its charms and its poetry. The 
Spanish character is stamped on it in strong and fiery colors. 
The mayoral, zagal, delantero, are national types which in all 
probability the next generation will see no more. What life 
is there when the stage starts, what force in the arm that 
cracks the whip, what energy in the voice, what mobility in 
the legs of the zagal, who running alongside the animals, 
whips them, holding fast on the mane of one of them ! And 
on the other hand what intelligence in the beasts ! How they 
contract their flanks to avoid the blow, how they stretch their 
legs to go faster! The monster coach with its voluminous 
deck full of trunks seems to be nailed to the ground, immov- 
able, but at the voice of the driver, at the crack of the whip, 
it flies ahead like the wind, lost already in the clouds of dust. 
Amid the cries, the curses, and the noise tinkle shrill and 
cheerful bells." 

After taking a cup of chocolate and some rolls at the 
station-house, we were carried away in a very uncomfortable 
coach at a brisk gallop. The great roads of Spain (caminos 
realos) are most splendid, however, wide and perfectly well 
kept; and the branches and rivers are spanned by solid and 
magnificent bridges; otherwise the speed of these coaches up- 
hill and downhill would be impossible. 

The country soon became quite interesting. Nothing rug- 
geder, wilder and fearfuler can be imagined than the narrow, 
rockbound gorge of Despena Perros. Here Andalusia was 
entered. Santa Elena, Carlotta, and Carolina are regularly 
laid out towns, German colonies planted by Charles III ; but, 
save for the better cultivation of the soil and a somewhat 
lighter complexion of the inhabitants, no trace of their German 
origin is found. 

BAILEN AND JAEN 

We dined at Bailen, one of the glories of Spain. Near 
it the decisive battle between the Christians and the Moors 
was fought (Navas de Tolosa), and here Napoleon met with 
the first great reverse of his armies by the defeat and capitu- 



316 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

lation of General Dupont. This victory (July, 1808) gave 
strength to the Spanish resistance, and encouraged the Eng- 
lish in their support. The grand result of this battle is still 
the boast of the Spaniards, together with the defense of Sara- 
gossa. I do not think there is a newspaper in Spain which 
has not once a week at least some reference to Bailen or to 
' ' muy heroico Saragossa. ' ' 

Our delantero was a boy of rather delicate frame, some 
eighteen years of age. Since five o'clock in the morning he 
had been steadily trotting or galloping, and at every relay 
he had to take the saddle off his horse and to put it on a new 
one. He had constantly handled his whip and had been 
hallooing and singing when not smoking his cigarette. When 
we arrived at Bailen, we could hardly believe that he was to 
ride the lead horse clear to Granada. It is said, however, that 
these delanteros usually die of consumption at an early age. 
Some miles after we left Bailen we crossed the Guadalquivir. 
It is not wider than the Illinois and of a rather yellow color. 

The old Moorish city of Jaen, with an old Alcazar and a 
monumental cathedral, the capital of the one-time kingdom of 
Jaen, we passed toward evening. In spite of the cathedral and 
other churches and chapels it does not look at all like a Chris- 
tian place. It is the Orient. We soon entered the valley, called 
Val-Paraiso (paradise), one of the most fertile in Spain, 
watered by hundreds of irrigating rivulets. Orange trees, 
pomegranates, splendid walnuts and chestnuts of most lux- 
uriant growth filled up the wide valley; aloes, laurel and 
pomegranate hedges closed in the fields and vegetable gardens, 
which extended on both sides of the road in exuberant rich- 
ness. 

The sun had set. But a full moon was rising, and it was 
soon as light as day. We soon passed another rugged moun- 
tain-range of bad repute, as not long before several attempts 
had been made to rob the stage here. We rode through deep 
ravines, narrow gorges, and passed through one steep rock 
by a short tunnel. Up and down we went at the top of the 



317 

mules' speed. The wheel-horses were two high horses; then 
came three mules abreast; and the leaders were horses again. 
It was a wild, romantic country, well wooded with pine 
and live oak. To see from time to time on the side of the hills 
a station of the "guardia civil" and to meet a patrol of two 
of them on horseback, their rifled carbines in position, was 
rather reassuring. About midnight we reached the wonder- 
fully rich plain (vega) of Granada; and soon the city itself, 
leaning on a mountain-spur between the river Darro and the 
river Genii and crowned by the Alhambra and the Generalife, 
came into view. The idea of entering magical Granada, the 
balmy and yet bracing night-air, the wonderful landscape 
gilded by the moonlight, the near prospect of escaping from 
our prison-stage, all this had so affected us that when we dis- 
mounted at the Hotel Minerva, in the Carrera del Darro, 
we found ourselves refreshed and elastic in spite of the long, 
tedious and fatiguing trip of nearly thirty-six hours. 

GRANADA 

We entered the hotel. We were behind time, and nobody 
appeared. Our mayoral finally started a mozo. We wanted 
a parlor and two bed-rooms in the "primero." We were 
shown a suite of rooms quite acceptable. We were just order- 
ing our trunks up and were taking possession when the cham- 
bermaid came in, telling us that we could not stay, as the 
washerwoman had failed to return the bed-sheets and so she 
could not make up the room. There was another large hotel 
opposite. Gustave went over, but found the house was full. 
We felt pretty bad. But the mozo soon relieved us by the 
information that there was in the garden adjoining the Al- 
hambra a "fonda" which was much patronized by the Eng- 
lish ; he would take us there ; our trunks would be sent up in 
the morning. Gardens of the Alhambra! That was enough 
to make us forget, even at two o 'clock in the morning, all our 
fatigue. We cheerfully consented; we walked first along the 
very wide street of the Darro, turned then into a labyrinth of 



318 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

small alleys about five or six feet wide, then went up hill, 
and after a march of one and a half miles, stood before the 
outer gate of the walls of the Alhambra, the Gate of Charles 
V. A most magnificent avenue opened upon us, after passing 
the portal of that mighty gate. Still we ascended. Parallel 
with this large avenue ran others. The trees were so trained 
that their tops came close together, forming bowers. The air 
was mild, perfumed by the exhalations of the trees and roses 
and the oleander-bushes. Numberless streamlets, unseen by 
us, "made music to the lonely ear," and fountains jetted up, 
their streams gilded by the moon. About half a mile from the 
gate stood before us a gigantic wall, flanked by a mighty 
tower, and close to this tower was a small house, "Fonda de 
los siete Suelos, ' ' named after the tower, called ' ' Torre de los 
siete Suelos" (seven-storied). 

The landlord was awakened, and amidst much hubbub and 
loud and lively chattering on the part of the landlord, the 
landlady, the mozo, the chambermaid of the Fonda, and our 
own mozo, and the barking of a half a dozen dogs, we were 
finally well quartered, at least according to the Spanish no- 
tions of a tavern ; old-fashioned, decrepit furniture, high but 
narrow rooms, stone floors, but beds (all iron or steel bed- 
steads) and bed linen, as almost everywhere in Spain, fresh 
and clean. 

THE ALHAMBRA 

Alhambra and Granada, what subjects for pen and 
pencil! How easy, one would think, to paint so charming a 
picture. How difficult, say I. Granada and its environs are 
a squeezed-out lemon. 

Next morning at breakfast we met our consul of Valencia, 
Mr. Kent, and his daughter. They were, however, on the 
point of departing. An English party and a party from 
Vienna, the banker Pierrera and his wife and suite, were the 
only guests. 

No description will be attempted here. Our Washington 
Irving, whose works are found in nearly every household in 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 319 

the United States, has not only exhausted the Alhambra, but 
his imagination has added to the picture much which one does 
not find here. In "Aus Spanien," I have made an attempt 
to give some account of what we saw during our three days' 
stay at the "Fonda de los siete Suelos," and the various ad- 
ventures we met with. All comparisons are more or less im- 
perfect. But if one will look from some point of the road 
leading down from the Wolfsbrunnen to the castle of Heidel- 
berg and down into the valley of the Neckar and the vast fer- 
tile plains beyond bounded by the Haardt Mountains and the 
Donnersberg, one will get at least some idea of the Alhambra 
and of Granada with its magnificent vegas, bounded by high 
hills to the west and southwest, and by the snow-capped range 
of the Sierra Nevada. From the outside, the Heidelberg castle 
is much more beautiful than the Alhambra. The Moors, like 
all Orientals, lavish their art on interiors. Cyclopic walls 
surround the inner palaces. High walls rise up from time to 
time outside of this immense structure, and stand on an almost 
perpendicular rock at the foot of which rushes the Darro, a 
glacier stream which sometimes flushes a great part of the city. 
Our favorite point was the Generalife, much higher than the 
Alhambra, but separated from it by a deep ravine. From our 
Fonda there was a direct path to it. It is useless to try to 
describe the beauties of this walk and the enchanting gardens 
in which the little summer-palace is nestled. It was this 
Generalife, where gentle waters and winds near ' ' made music 
to the listening ear," which to our Sophie was the greatest 
enjoyment of this enchanting tour. Whenever in after years 
we dwelt on all the beautiful spots we had ever visited, she 
would exclaim "O, the Generalife! Nothing in the world 
approaches it." It commands a most expansive and mag- 
nificent view. 

Right opposite to our Fonda was the charming park and 
modern villa of Senor Calderon, a rich banker of Madrid. 
From the belvedere of this gem of a little palace you have a 
prospect also into the valley of the Genii, which river is joined 



320 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEBNER 

by the Darro a little below Granada, and into the enchanting 
Alameda of the city on the banks of the Genii, with its double 
rows of elms, sycamores, poplars, its beds of thousands of 
flowers, cooled by splendid fountains and numerous flowing 
rills of the coolest running water, which keeps vegetation fresh 
in the hottest summer. Theophile Gautier calls the promenade 
on the Genii, and he has seen many lands, "perhaps the most 
beautiful in the world. ' ' 

In our Fonda everything went forward in a gay and 
easy way, quite different from the celebrated resorts of the 
rest of Europe. The landlord and his young wife did their 
best in their own naive manner to please their guests. The 
mozos and manolas were refreshingly natural. Black dress- 
coats and white cotton gloves were banished. Shirt-sleeves 
prevailed. They urged you to taste the dishes with many 
recommendations, an inconvenience which one does not suffer 
at the hotel tables of the civilized world. If the large plates 
of most luscious strawberries disappeared within an incredibly 
short space of time, the boys were sent out in the gardens to 
gather fresh ones, and they were quickly served. I shall never 
forget the proud, joyful face of the head-waiter when he en- 
tered, at one time, the breakfast-room with a large plate in his 
hands and with a shout of enthusiasm exclaimed: "Caballeros, 
aqui un bif stick ! Es magnifico. ' ' 

Before our veranda, passed almost constantly gay and 
often singing groups of promenaders and peasants. Horse- 
men in their Andalusian dress, as gaudily bespangled and 
beribboned as their Andalusian horses, cantered by. Gypsy 
girls sang before our balconies and sold roses. The most 
exquisite of beggars and beggar boys enlivened the landscape. 
Small picnic-parties from time to time came up from the 
city. Ladies and gentlemen of the best society rested in the 
bowers of the little garden of the Fonda, full of roses, gerani- 
ums, pomegranates, peach, fig, and orange trees. They sang 
to the guitar and ate strawberries and milk, or drank lemon- 
ade, remaining a short time to make room for groups of young 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 321 

men (polios) who amused themselves in their own way. It 
was a free and easy country life, such as one can hardly find 
anywhere now where beautiful scenery attracts visitors. 

In a chapter of "Aus Spanien," entitled " Andalusia in 
May, 1863," speaking of our pleasant life in the "Fonda de 
los siete Suelos." I remarked: 

' ' In Switzerland one must go up at least ten thousand feet 
high to find a place that has not been spoiled by the sorry civil- 
ization of modern watering-places and summer-villegiaturas. 
Here, on a spot of earth as enchanting as the valleys of Cash- 
mere, there are no bills-of-fare or wine-cards, no portiers and 
no voitures, no bills for unused "bougies" and for "service" 
not rendered, no "cabinet de lecture" and no evening-parties 
"in full dress." No railroad has as yet touched Granada 
and will not for some years. Hence let those make haste who 
can, to enjoy this paradise before the tree of knowledge grows 
up here. Here is one of the last and most wonderful heights, 
not yet reached by the deluge which has already swept over 
the Brocken and the Giant Mountains, the Grindelwald and 
the Rigi, and now rises to the Furca, the Gemmi Pass and the 
Faulhorn, and threatens in its rapid growth the Silverhora 
of the Jungfrau and the mere-de-glace of Mont Blanc with the 
civilization of Grand Hotels, Bellevues and Belvederes." 

THE GRANADA CATHEDRAL 

To describe accurately the Granada Cathedral would fill 
many pages. This immense structure, built, enlarged, and 
restored through centuries, shows a variety of styles. Some 
portals and doors are Gothic. The interior is in the main 
in the Roman arched style. Pillars of immense height bear 
Corinthian capitals. Many chapels are in the Renaissance, 
some in the modern, tasteless Jesuit style. The main cupola 
is one hundred and fifty feet high. On the high altars and 
on the chapel altars are masterpieces of Alonzo Cano (who 
is here in all his glory), Bocanegra, his pupil, and Juanes. 
Statues in marble, bronze, carved wood, in which latter art the 
Spanish were preeminent, are abundant. Through a most 
imposing high Gothic door opening from the main structure, 
you enter a very large Gothic chapel, the "Capilla Real," in 



322 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

which are erected the precious marble mausoleums of the 
Catholic kings, Ferdinand and Isabella, and of Johanna, their 
daughter, and her husband, Philip the First, son of Emperor 
Maximilian, the works of the celebrated sculptor, Philip de 
Burgoyne. Over their sepulchres, on high pedestals, are 
sarchopagi, upon which lie the marble effigies of the historical 
dead. By some, these tombs are said to be the finest in the 
world, even more beautiful than that of the Emperor Maxi- 
milian at Innspruck. Charles V had these superb monuments 
erected. Many other very fine churches and interesting places 
we visited, such as the Church de las Angustias, the Carthusi- 
an convent, outside of the city, perhaps the most costly and 
richly ornamented church in Spain; the Albaicin, a suburb, 
where the gypsies, and, as our guide told us, Spaniards "de 
la gente baja Castellana" are huddled together, but from 
which high point you have the best total view of the Al- 
hambra; the unfinished Florentine palace of Charles V; the 
Generalife, and the still higher "Silla del Moro," and on 
the other side of the Darro, the view of the Rambla, the arch- 
episcopal palace, and the town-hall of the city. 

During all this time we had most delightful weather, 
occasional mild spring showers, very warm but not oppressive 
days, and cool, bracing nights. 

MALAGA 

In the evening of the fourth day of our stay, we left 
the never-to-be-forgotten paradise of the Moors. Our stage- 
coach was more comfortable. We rapidly passed the re- 
nowned Vega, crossed the Genii several times, reached Santa 
Fe, the point from which the Catholic kings operated the 
siege of Granada, and saw Loja, where the great Captain 
Gonsalvo de Cordova lived and died after his campaigns were 
over. Narvaez had his summer residence there, from which 
he sent me at one time some of the finest and largest pome- 
granates and oranges I had ever seen. 

Soon we got into the mountains again, a spur of the 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 323 

Alpujarras, wilder even than the Sierra Morena, it being far 
more destitute of vegetation. Early in the morning we 
reached the highest point of the road, and below us we looked 
into the valley of the Guadalmedina, a small river which runs 
by Malaga. So clear was the sky that we thought that city 
only a mile or two off, while it was some six miles distant. 
The descent into the valley was fearful. This part of the 
road is called Cuesta de la Reina and is the terror even of 
the Spanish postilions. Our stage had put the brakes on, 
and, in addition the wheels were held by chains; yet we ran 
down with amazing swiftness. The beautiful city, nearly all 
houses painted white and flat-roofed, glittering in the morning 
sun and skirted by the blue Mediterranean, lay at our feet. 
The enjoyment of this scenery, although not unmixed with 
some anxiety at our downward race, was indescribable. 

At last we were in the Alameda, a fine and beautifully 
laid out promenade, lined by elegant modern residences. 
We stopped at the Fonda de la Alameda, a hotel which leaves 
little to be desired. It is built around a spacious yard, cooled 
by fountains, verandas running all around. There are baths 
in the house, and an excellent table d'hote. Although it 
was hot and the air was trembling, the interior was pleasantly 
cool; and we could, after taking baths, rest sweetly after our 
night's trip. After breakfast we strolled through the town. 
The part near the quays of the harbor and on and near the 
Alameda is entirely new. The streets are well paved, and 
some very fine fountains attract attention. But when you 
leave these blocks, where are the principal hotels, the residences 
and the streets of the great merchants and the quarters where 
foreigners generally reside, the streets become Arabic again 
and labyrinthal. As the steamboat on the Lopez line, the 
"Marseilles," had already arrived and was to leave at six 
o'clock in the evening, we had just time to look at the large 
cathedral, Renaissance style, and looking more like a heathen 
temple than a Christian church, and to admire the beau 
monde of Malaga, which just then began to fill the beautiful 



324 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

paseo, the Alameda, which runs through the center of the 
city to the harbor. Our consul, Mr. Hancock of Kentucky, 
was our guide. A boat brought us, while a heavy shower 
sprang up all at once, to the steamer bound for Cadiz. The 
sun shone out bright again after we had got out some distance 
into the sea. 

The view of Malaga and its surroundings was superb hi 
the setting sun. After dark it commenced raining again. I 
was soon alone on deck under an umbrella. I was waiting 
for the moon, hoping that by her light we could see Gibraltar, 
which we were to pass at two o'clock in the morning. But 
it became so cloudy, and a thick fog so unusual in the straits 
set in, that I had to give up my plan to remain on deck, and 
retired to my cabin about midnight. But I got up again 
quite early. The steamer which had floated on the Mediter- 
ranean so smoothly now began to roll and pitch. We were 
in the Atlantic. At six o'clock we espied land, and not long 
afterwards glared in the form of a half moon the walls and 
houses of Cadiz from out of the bosom of the sea. 

CADIZ AND JEREZ 

Though an old Phoenician colony, there is no place that 
makes the impression of newness like Cadiz. The very tall 
houses with their flat roofs, crowned with turrets, cupolas, 
and belvederes, appeared like a string of pearls forming a 
crescent, the convex side turned toward the sea. The white 
color of all the buildings is heightened by the fiery beams of 
the sun and the contrast with the deep blue sky and the equal- 
ly deep blue sea. Cadiz has, properly speaking, no harbor, 
but only a roadstead. Mighty rocks surround the walls of 
the city, and the surf is very heavy. Our vessel anchored at 
a respectable distance, and we were taken by a boat under 
a rather dangerous swell to the landing place, and the 
"Aduana." 

The bay of Cadiz, of which Cadiz, situated on the Island 
of Leon, forms the southeastern, and La Rota, celebrated for 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 325 

its wines, the western extremity, is very extensive, and on 
it are situated the two large ports of Puerto Real and Puerto 
de Santa Maria. These two large ports are now connected 
with Cadiz by rail, and really form part of it. Not having 
seen Naples, Rio de Janeiro, or Constantinople, I must say 
that Cadiz is the finest bay I have ever seen, New York not 
excepted. But I cannot attempt to give a description. We 
are in the land of the sun. Byron's beautiful verses rushed 
into my mind: 

' ' Know ye the land of cedar and vine. 
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine, 
Where the light wings of zephyr oppressed with perfume 
Wax faint o'er the gardens of rose in her bloom, 
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, 
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute, 
Where the tints of the earth and the hues of the sky 
In colors, though varied, in beauty may vie ; 
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, 
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine. ' ' 

Our hotel, the City of Paris, was a fine one, though 
in a very small street. The cathedral is a vast building of 
the decadent age of Renaissance art. We visited the con- 
vent of the Capuchins, remarkable only for the last picture 
ever painted by Murillo, the "Marriage of Santa Catharina." 
When it was about finished, he fell from the scaffold and soon 
afterwards died. It is considered one of his finest pictures. 

The Alameda is one of the largest ramparts and is encircled 
by the sea, which is constantly splashing on the rocks on 
which the rampart is built. It is beautiful beyond descrip- 
tion, and in the evening filled with the fair ladies of whom 
Byron and others have given us such glowing and exaggerated 
pictures. The second evening our consul, a Mr. Eggleston, 
and Captain Martin of the United States corvette, "St. 
Louis," and some of his officers called upon us, and we spent 
a pleasant and interesting evening with them. Their invita- 
tion to dine with them the next day on board of their vessel, 



326 

we had to decline, as we had already made arrangements, which 
could not be set aside, to leave early next morning. 

Through the cities of San Fernando, Puerta Real, and 
Santa Maria, through fields where people were already busy in 
harvesting barley and wheat (early in May), through gardens 
with vineyards enclosed by hedges of aloe and cactus, we 
reached in an hour or so Jerez de la Frontera, the Mecca of 
the lovers of wine. 

In our apartment we made the acquaintance of a young 
gentleman from Bremen, who was a partner in one of the 
firms in the wine-trade at Jerez. He gave us an interesting 
description of how the making of wine was carried on, by 
the treatment of it in the cellars. All the Jerez (Sherry) 
exported to England and the United States is strengthened 
by spirits and somewhat sweetened. The true Jerez has al- 
ways a slightly bitter taste, and is preferred by the natives 
and the real connoisseurs of other countries. The Jerez, 
called Manzanilla, which is the most commonly drunk in Spain, 
derives its very name from its bitterness, "manzanilla" 
signifying camomile. I can speak from experience of its 
healthfulness and goodness, as we used it all the time at the 
breakfast table at our house and at hotels. 

The road from Jerez to Seville along the banks of the 
Guadalquivir is not interesting, being mostly flat, but now 
and then dotted with large orange groves and some pine 
forests. At noon we entered Seville and found an excellent and 
comfortable resting place at the "Fonda de Londres" on 
the Plaza Nueva. 

SEVILLE 

Seville! If we follow the traditional representations of 
the numberless travelers from many lands, Seville is the most 
picturesque and romantic city of all the romantic cities of 
the world. We have seen it in the most favorable season, in 
May, under an unclouded, brilliant sky, and we could not 
but feel somewhat disappointed. A great deal of affected 
enthusiasm, not to say nonsense, has been written and sung 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 327 

of this Queen of Andalusia. Its immediate surroundings in 
the first place are flat and sterile. No hills or mountains 
are visible. The Guadalquivir, though broad and deep, is 
of a muddy, yellow color. The paseo, the Alameda, bears 
no comparison with those of Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, 
Cadiz and Malaga. There are some handsome small squares, 
and some few streets wide enough for carriages to pass in. 
Except the cathedral, the bishop's palace, and that of the 
duke of Montpensier, called San Telmo, and the Alcazar, 
there are no other very remarkable buildings. The greater 
part of the houses are after the Oriental fashion, unseemly 
from the outside, though the interior may be very handsome, 
having noble staircases, and quadrangular yards with foun- 
tains. 

Perhaps I should also say something of the exaggerations 
in which people have indulged regarding the beauty of the 
Andalusians, and more particularly of the Sevillian women. 
They have, like most Spaniards, the advantage of being of 
a homogeneous race, they have a common marked type, 
or character, I may say. This appears to the stranger who 
comes from the more northern part of Europe or from the 
United States, where there has been a great mixture of na- 
tional types, as a certain charm; but it does not follow that 
this marked race responds to all the requirements of ideal 
beauty. We have been through the Alamedas of Seville at 
the fashionable hours of the evening, have been in the prin- 
cipal theatres, have been in the tobacco-manufactory where 
some four thousand Andalusian girls and women were at 
work, have been at the great market-place, and have seen 
some beautiful ladies, particularly at the theatres and on the 
Alameda, but comparatively very few who could be called 
perfect beauties. It is true, most of the women have dark 
hair, deep and brilliant eyes, very exquisitely formed feet 
and hands, and an elastic step. But their noses are mostly 
too aquiline, their lips, though red and "half revealing, half 
concealing" well-set white teeth, are thick. The busts are 



328 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

in proportion too full (as they are generally very undersized), 
and the nether extremities much too short. Like most other 
Spanish women they are very charming by their vivacity in 
speech and action, their amiable naturalness and kind-hearted- 
ness. 

I have seen in churches, theatres, in the promenade, and 
in large gatherings at civic and religious festivities thousands 
of Spanish women. There was with us at the same hotel in 
Seville a Mr. Alphonse de Rothschild from Paris with his 
bride. But of all the Spanish ladies I have ever seen there 
was not one superior, nay ! not one equal, to this young 
bride's grace and ravishing beauty. My judgment about 
Spanish beauty is this: In the first place the men on an 
average are much handsomer than the women. But the chil- 
dren of both sexes surely surpass all other children in beauty 
and loveliness. They do not, however, fulfill the promise of 
their early youth. While I am far from sharing the en- 
thusiasm of strangers in speaking of Seville, yet there are 
some glorious objects of art there which justify the old Span- 
ish adage: 

"Quien no ha visto a Sevilla, 
No ha visto a maravilla. ' ' 

THE SEVILLE CATHEDRAL 

There is the cathedral. I have devoted many pages in 
my "Aus Spanien" to a description of this colossal structure, 
and yet was able to give no more than an unsatisfactory 
sketch of it. To do it justice, one must not only write a book 
of some size, but ought to be a professional architect, a first- 
class painter, or at least a well-grounded connoisseur, a 
sculptor, a highly accomplished cabinet-maker, a jeweler, a 
goldsmith, an embroiderer and a historian. Theophile Gau- 
tier, in his vivid and outre French manner, has given us 
his impressions, which, though fanciful, are of great literary 
merit. Though they will lose by the rendering, I will give a 
translation of them here: 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 329 

"The most extravagant and most monstrous Indian pa- 
godas do not equal the Seville cathedral. It is a hollow moun- 
tain, an upturned valley. Notre Dame of Paris could walk 
upright in the middle nave, which is of terrific height. Col- 
umns, thick as towers, and yet so fragile as to cause tremb- 
ling, shoot up from the ground, or rather fall down from the 
vaults on high like stalactites in a great cave. The high altar 
with its steps, its towering architecture, its rows of statues on 
different shelves, is of itself an immense building reaching 
almost to the cupola. 

"The Easter wax-candle, large as a shipmast, weighs two 
thousand and fifty pounds. The bronze candlestick upon 
which it rests is a sort of Vendome column; it is a copy of 
the candlestick in the temple of Jerusalem as seen on the 
bas-reliefs of the triumphal arch of Titus. Everything is in 
the same grand proportion. There are annually burnt in the 
cathedral twenty thousands pounds of wax and as much oil. 
The communion wine consumed yearly amounts to the fright- 
ful quantity of 18,750 bottles. But there are also five hun- 
dred masses read on twenty-four altars. The catafalque, 
called monument, which does service during the holy week, is 
nearly one hundred feet high. The organ, of gigantic size, 
looks like the basaltic columns of Fingal's cave, and yet the 
storms and thunder which issue from the pipes, large as siege 
guns, under these vaulted arches sound like the chirping of 
birds or the melodies of seraphim. One counts eighty-three 
glass windows painted after cartons from Michael Angelo, 
Raphael, Duerer, Peregrino, Tibaldi and Lucas Cambiaso. 
The choir, in Gothic style, is ornamented with little turrets, 
columns, niches, and all sorts of figures, flowers and leaves, 
a work so immense and exquisite that we can in our day hard- 
ly conceive of it. In the presence of such works, one feels 
overwhelmed and asks anxiously whether the power of artistic 
creation does not retrograde from one century to another. 

' ' To describe seriatim the treasures of the cathedral would 
be the greatest stupidity. To visit them thoroughly a year 
would be needed, and one would not have seen anything. 
Volumes are not sufficient to make merely a catalogue of them. 
The sculptures in stone, wood, and silver, by Juan de Arfe, 
Juan Millan, Montanes, Roldan; the paintings of Murillo, 
Zurbaran, Pedro Campana, Roelas, Luis de Vargas, the two 
Herreras, Juan de Valdes, and Goya, fill the chapels, the 
sacristies, and the chapter-halls. One is appalled by the 



330 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

splendor, intoxicated by the masterpieces; one does not know 
at what to look first. The desire and the impossibility give 
one a sort of fever of giddiness, and yet one feels every mo- 
ment that a name has escaped us, that memory has lost its 
impression, and that one picture has forced away another 
one." 

When I entered this wonderful structure, I was almost 
stricken with a sense of awe similar to that which I felt when 
I first stood at Niagara Falls. 

I cannot leave Seville, however, without mentioning some 
sights which impressed me deeply. Near the main entrance 
of the cathedral one stands in the presence of the most mag- 
nificent emanation of the immortal Murillo, the much ad- 
mired "St. Anthony of Padua." Here is Murillo in all his 
wonderful magical splendor. Here are his angels, his transpar- 
ent clouds, his ecstatic saints, wrapped in sweetest dreams and 
yet living and moving in every limb. Daylight hardly pen- 
etrates into the dark chapel which encloses this picture of 
greatest dimensions; but from the picture itself streams a 
sea of light. Murillo, as has been said by a Spanish con- 
noisseur, did not paint the effect of light, but light itself. 
No one has ever discovered the secret of these translucid illu- 
minating colors. No one but he has so painted the heavenly 
light. Many think that in this picture Murillo has spoken the 
last word in painting. I highly admire it ; but I have chosen 
for myself another pearl of the rich and precious wreath of his 
creation, and to this, my first love, I in Seville remained faith- 
ful; it is his "Purissima" at Madrid. On a second visit I 
asked some old beggar women to hold aside the heavy curtains 
which hang over the entrance so as to obtain more light. But 
as Schiller says of the eye, one can say of this tableau : ' ' Es 
gibt sich selber Licht und Glanz. ' ' And as the white glowing 
Andalusian sun now shone upon it, it could truly be said: 

"Und doch ist, was es von sich strahlet, 

Noch schoener als was es empfing." 
This picture some ten years afterwards met with a singu- 
lar fate. One morning it was discovered that the figure of 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 331 

the saint and some of the angels descending before the Child 
Jesus, and forming the middle ground, had been cut out by 
sacrilegious hands. Large rewards were offered for the dis- 
covery of the thieves and the recovery of the picture. For a 
long while no clue was found. But it turned out that it had 
been sold to some one in New York. It came back finally to 
the possession of the cathedral, and it is said that this stolen 
part was put into the picture again so skilfully that the patch 
could not be discovered. 

Then there was the Convent of Caridad containing Muril- 
lo's "Moses Striking the Rock for Water." It is called the 
"Sed" or the "Thirst," and is the largest and best of what 
may be called his historical paintings. There is also here his 
wonderful "Nino Jesus" (the Christ-Child) standing on the 
globe. 

THE PALACE OF SAN TELMO 

Along the Guadalquivir is the palace of San Telmo, resi- 
dence of the Duke of Montpensier, with a glorious collection of 
paintings, in which the modern French school is also well 
represented by Robert, Delacroix, Delaroche, Horace Vernet, 
Ary Scheffer, Decamps, and Winterhalter. Murillo's world- 
famed "Madona de la Faja," or "The Madonna Swathing 
the Child," is here the gem again. The gardens enclosing 
this beautiful palace are of enchanting beauty. Grand ave- 
nues of elms, linden, and poplar are intersected by parks in 
English fashion. Majestic orange trees (the sweet golden 
fruit of which covered, uncared for, as apples with us, the 
ground beneath) , were grouped with palm, fig and pomegran- 
ate trees. Roses of all varieties blossomed and exhaled their 
sweet odor through the gardens. The ordinary centifolia was 
as large as the tuberose. Springs and artificial water-ducts 
rippled and rustled all around us. A mild, warm, delightful 
evening air floated about and laid itself as softly upon us as 
the autumn air of Lake Geneva. As in the park, one sees in 
the palace the effect of a refined taste. No dilapidation or 
other traces of decay offend the view, as is often the case in 



332 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Spain in the finest public buildings and residences and in the 
gardens and yards. Here everything is harmonious, and well 
taken care of, and one sees the ruling of an intellect ripened 
on the other side of the Pyrenees. 

The Duke, to whom we had been introduced at Madrid, 
was a very handsome young man of good size and pleasant 
manners, and highly educated ; and he had made his palace a 
museum not only of paintings and sculpture, but also of cost- 
ly and rare armor, particularly of oriental make, he having 
served for several years in Africa. His wife, the sister of 
Queen Isabel, was also very well educated. She was delicate, 
and slender, and had more the manners of a French lady. 
Married too young and mother of many children, she was 
pale and appeared suffering, rather a great contrast to her 
full-blown sister. 



The Alcazar of Seville, were it not for the situation of 
the Alhambra, is a dangerous rival of the palace of Boabdil. 
Its majestic halls, corridors, gardens and squares, are, if any- 
thing, superior to the interior of the Alhambra. We con- 
gratulated ourselves on having visited the Alhambra first, as 
after the Seville Alcazar we should not have found it so ad- 
mirable. 

In the collection of Cepero, in the house where Murillo 
lived, I saw two portraits of Murillo, probably painted by his 
best pupil, Tobar, whose paintings pass generally for Murillo 's. 
According to these portraits, he has a wide, free forehead, 
lively eyes, showing kindness, a rather smiling mouth, round 
chin and a light complexion. The face is round, not oval, his 
nose not aquiline, but commonplace. In fact he has no trace 
of the Spanish type. I should have taken the portraits un- 
questionably for those of a native of Flanders. Even before 
I had seen these portraits the thought had struck me that 
Murillo might have had some German blood in him. An eye 
even unpracticed in art cannot fail to see the immense differ- 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBEA, AND SEVILLE 333 

ence between him and all other Spanish painters. Murillo's 
work will be recognized at once amongst a hundred other 
Spanish pictures. There is only then a great similarity when he 
as he did sometimes, adopted the style of Ribera, or when his 
many pupils imitated him. Murillo's family name was Este- 
ban (Stephen) . The name of Murillo he took from his mother's 
side, a very common thing in Spain, as Salazer y Maceredo, 
Rios y Rosas, and Serrano y Dominguez. No genealogy that 
I have seen of him goes further back than to his father. 
Could not our Bartholomew Stephen have been a descendant 
of one of the many German and Flemish artists, who, as is 
well known, for nearly a century worked on the Seville Cathe- 
dral? The painters of the glass-windows were Christopher 
Aleman, Arnold of Flanders, and his brother Charles of 
Bruges, all strangers from the North. Other Spanish paint- 
ers have likewise done devout work, like Morales, Juan de 
Juanes, Ribera, Zurbaran, and Alonzo Cano; but such inno- 
cent, pure, childlike love, such a deep mild feeling as speak 
from Murillo's pictures are found only in the German and 
Flemish painters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

The Seville Provincial Museum, a very large building, 
the old convent of La Merced, was undergoing very extensive 
repairs. Walls were broken through, foundations strength- 
ened, and all the pictures had been taken down and covered 
up, so that it could not be visited. Only one side of the 
building containing the "Salon de Murillo," was left undis- 
turbed, but this also had been closed for fear of dust penetrat- 
ing into the hallowed apartment. Nevertheless, we did not want 
to leave Seville without having seen some of the greatest mas- 
terpieces of Murillo and the greatest treasures of Seville. I, 
therefore, asked our consul, Mr. John Cunningham, an Eng- 
lish merchant, a gentleman of great repute, who showed us 
every civility, to get us permission to see the Salon Murillo. 
The director of the Museo, however, answered his note, ex- 
pressing his deepest regrets that he could not comply with the 



334 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

request, as the Salon, on account of the repairs, was hermet- 
ically closed. 

But I had heard in the meantime that just the day be- 
fore Mr. Alphonse Rothschild and his wife had visited the 
Murillo gallery, not however by the door, but by means of a 
tall ladder which had been put from the hall below to one 
of the windows above, through which the Salon was lighted 
from that side. I instructed the consul to address the gov- 
ernor of the province, and to remark to him that I expected 
to receive the requested permission, the more so, as it had just 
yesterday been given to a private gentleman from Paris. The 
governor, excusing himself on account of sickness for not be- 
ing able to wait upon me in person, observed that he had just 
given instructions to open the Salon for me and my family. 

Ascending the marble stairs we saw the ladder still stand- 
ing at the wall on which the Rothschilds had climbed up, a 
thing which Sophie would never have ventured to do. A mozo 
went up on it, opened the window by removing several planks 
nailed before it, entered the Salon, and in a few minutes 
drew out the nails by which the canvas had been fastened on 
the inside of the doors, and flung it wide open. With a proud 
and triumphant air our guide followed us and exclaimed: 
"Miran Vds. las glorias de Murillo!" And, indeed, in glory 
we were enveloped. 

A whole heaven descended upon us, " Es kam ein gan- 
zer Himmel auf uns nieder. ' ' I have tried in my ' ' Aus Span- 
ien" to give some idea of the most admired subjects in this 
Salon de Glorias. There is his celebrated Child Christ, said 
to have been painted on a napkin and presented by him to 
the head-cook of the Franciscan convent in which he worked 
for some time. There is his "San Thoma de Villa Nueva," 
giving alms to a group of beggars, which Murillo himself de- 
clared to be his best work. Here are two "Conceptions," 
surpassed only by the one in Madrid ; and the wonderful paint- 
ing of Christ on the Cross just dying and embracing San 
Francisco, an apparent impossibility, but yet successfully ac- 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBEA, AND SEVILLE 335 

complished by the inspired master. (Only a faith that could 
move mountains could have drawn this piece.) Of one of the 
larger paintings I had a somewhat reduced copy made by Jose 
de Mazo of Seville, who had also copied for me the Nino 
Pastor of Madrid. It is his Joseph and the Child. On the 
cracked socket of an antique column, behind which rises an- 
other higher one with broken-down top, dressed in a long, 
light violet robe, stands the child Jesus, a little blond, lovely 
boy, gently leaning on his father Joseph, a noble figure, who 
with his left arm draws the child to his breast and presses 
his right arm tenderly around the boy's waist. Dark, heavy- 
laden clouds form the background. The boy standing on the 
ruins of the old world has the most childlike, innocent face, 
and yet there is impressed on his forehead the seal of Godhead, 
while at the same time the shadows of the great future sor- 
rows are passing over the pure little face. On the lovely lips 
of the child seem already to float the words : ' ' Oh, my Father ! 
If it is possible, let this cup pass from me ! ' ' 

COEDOVA 

Early in the morning of the 15th of May we left Seville 
taking the train to Cordova. After some miles from the city 
along the banks of the Guadalquivir the country is more fer- 
tile. The people were harvesting barley. About midway 
between Seville and Cordova we passed the Guadalquivir on 
a magnificent bridge, leaving the river now at our right. 
The scenery becomes quite picturesque, and we had exten- 
sive vistas. About noon, through a very fine Alameda, we 
entered the exceedingly narrow streets of Cordova, stopping 
at a very good but small hotel. 

It would take many pages to give even a meagre descrip- 
tion of this highly interesting city. It is the most perfect 
specimen of downfallen greatness I have ever seen. An impor- 
tant city in the age of the Caesars, the cradle of the Roman 
poets Ennius, Lucan, Seneca and Floras; at the times of the 
Moros the seat of the Western Caliphate, with a million of 



336 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

inhabitants and residence of the Abdurrahmans ; it is now one 
of the deadest cities of Spain with only fifty thousand people, 
and appears to have no influence on the intellectual life of the 
country, while its schools and universities were under the Ro- 
mans, the Goths and Moors, the most renowned of Western 
Europe. 

The greatest point of attraction is the mosque, the largest 
after Damascus of Arab times. Figures and numbers give 
hardly ever a true representation of monumental structures, 
but still I do not know that one can do better than give the 
dimensions of this building. It is from east to west 440 feet 
and from north to south 620 feet. It is divided by thirty- 
five naves in the first, and by nineteen in the second direction. 
These naves are formed by three hundred and fifty-four pil- 
lars of various thicknesses, and of all sorts of styles, consisting 
of alabaster, granite, jasper and marble of every color. They 
are all connected above by Moorish arches, often by double 
arches which sustain the only forty-feet high ceiling. With 
every step one sees into a different avenue of columns. It is 
a forest of stone. It is said that these columns were taken 
in part from an old Roman temple of Janus which stood at 
the place where the mosque now stands, partly from Nimes 
and Narbonne, from Seville and Tarragona, one hundred and 
forty from old Byzantium and the rest from Carthage and 
other African cities, all very interesting for an antiquarian. 
One thing is certain that the capitals of these columns are of 
very different styles, representing all known and unknown 
orders of architecture. 

The same master-builder who put on the Moorish tower 
of the Giralda at the Seville Cathedral the Graeco-Roman 
top, has set up in this mosque in the time of Charles V a 
church in the Renaissance style, elevating a part of the roof, 
but not separating it from the parts of the mosque itself. Of 
course this destroys the symmetry of the whole, if one can 
speak of symmetry where hundreds of avenues of columns 
cross one another. 



GRANADA, THE ALHAMBRA, AND SEVILLE 337 

Of wonderful beauty is the Arabic Holiest of the Holies, 
the most perfect specimen of Moorish architecture in Spain. 
It lies under a cupola of shining marble supported by graceful 
pillars. The walls are ornamented with painted and gilded 
glass arabesques. The letters forming verses from the Koran 
are gilded glass. The vestibule to this sanctuary is made 
of columns bearing double arches of the finest and whitest 
marble. While in the Alhambra and other Moorish Alcazars 
the floors and columns only are of marble, but the arches 
and walls are of stucco, here everything is built of marble. 
The cupola, in the form of a half orange, with a diameter of 
about twelve feet, is one piece of marble. Everything is 
conceived and worked with infinite gracefulness. We visited 
the Moorish Alcazar situated on a high hill at the foot of 
which runs the Guadalquivir; also the gate of colossal di- 
mensions which leads to the bridge ; and saw fine squares with 
large gilded statues of saints. 

At about midnight we took the stage towards Madrid, 
passed the Guadalquivir at Andujar at daylight, and, as- 
cending upon hills, had the most magnificent views. On our 
right towards the south we had the mountain range of Jaen, 
the horizon being closed by the Sierra Nevada, the highest 
peaks of which, though some seventy miles off, could be 
clearly discerned through the clear, transparent air. Right 
before us toward the north rose threatening the dark moun- 
tains of the Sierra Morena. 

Passing the battlefields, we reached Bailen at noon, and 
Santa Cruz de Mudela at five in the evening, where we took 
the railroad to Madrid, arriving there next morning after our 
excursion into the most charming province of "Fair Spain." 



CHAPTER XL 

Through Northern Spain and Germany in 1863 

On cur return to Madrid the sad news of the battle of 
Chancellorsville in full detail reached us. Had it not been 
for the progress we were making in the West, which made the 
fall of Vicksburg in the near future highly probable, we 
should have felt the defeat still more keenly. In the legation 
I found my hands full of business. I had been charged with 
concluding a convention with Spain to leave the question 
of maritime jurisdiction to the arbitration of the King of 
the Belgians. The proposed treaty, drawn by the Marquis 
of Miraflores, I would not sign, but submitted it first to 
Mr. Seward. He objected to one phrase in the preamble, and 
the Marquis of Miraflores would not change it, but gave the 
sentence such explanation in writing as would be satisfactory, 
I thought; and so Mr. Seward at last thought himself. But 
before the treaty was signed by me I left on a leave of ab- 
sence in 1864. I believe the Senate did not confirm it. I 
had, however, long and tedious interviews with the Marquis 
relating to it. Some mischievous articles had appeared in 
the French newspapers, and had found republication in some 
of the Spanish journals, that our government was at the bot- 
tom of the insurrection that had broken out in Santo Domingo 
against the Spanish government. Of course, I at once con- 
tradicted these reports and used the press also for the pur- 
pose, and asked Mr. Seward to instruct me positively on the 
subject, which he did, and I believe I succeeded in quieting 
the government here on that score. 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 339 

MEMORIAL ADDRESS OF THE PEOPLE OF BARCELONA 

Just about this time I received through the hands of our 
consul at Barcelona a beautiful portfolio containing an ad- 
dress congratulating the President on his Emancipation 
Proclamation of the first of January and signed by several hun- 
dred citizens of Barcelona. It was very eloquent and sound- 
ed majestically in its pure Castilian. On the receipt of it, 
I wrote to Mr. Little: 

' ' Sir : I have received through your hands the splendid- 
ly gotten up volume containing a congratulatory address to 
the President of the United States upon his proclamation of 
the first of January, 1863, relating to the abolition of slavery, 
and also expressing the sympathy of a large number of citi- 
zens of Barcelona who have signed this address for the suc- 
cess of the principles sustained by our government. 

"I shall take pleasure to make myself the instrument of 
transmitting said testimonial to our distinguished chief of 
state, the more so as it comes from the citizens of Barcelona, 
a city renowned in history no less for its preeminence in in- 
dustrial pursuits than for its love of the principles of human 
liberty and individual independence. 

"I have no doubt that the President will in due time 
respond in proper manner to the enlightened signers of the 
address. In the meantime, if an opportunity offers, you will 
certainly express my own sentiments in acknowledging in 
sympathetic terms the action of the committee and their con- 
stituents. I am, sir, your obedient servant." 

SPANISH DIFFICULTIES 

Mr. Seward was also very anxious to settle the diffi- 
culties which had arisen between Spain and Peru, and I was 
instructed to offer our good offices in the controversy. It was 
a very delicate matter, as I was well aware with what jeal- 
ousy the Spanish government tries to guard against all for- 
eign interference. Just because Spain had lost the great 
prestige it had had centuries ago and is now considered a 
second-rate power, it was less inclined to yield even to reason- 
able demands than a powerful nation would be. I, there- 
fore, confined myself to suggestions merely. They were at- 



340 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

tentively listened to by the minister of foreign affairs, but re- 
mained without any response ; so that I informed Mr. Seward 
that I thought it unadvisable to even mention the subject 
again, as it would not accord with our national dignity. So 
the matter was dropped for the present, to reappear, however, 
hereafter, throwing a large amount of trouble and business 
on my head. 

THROUGH NORTHERN SPAIN 

As we did not intend to retain our present lodgings dur- 
ing my absence, we broke up our household, storing our fur- 
niture and retaining only our principal servant, Francisco, 
who was to go with us to Germany where we intended to 
spend our summer vacation, promising, however, our other 
servants to reengage them, if they were willing to enter our 
services upon our return. On the 15th of June we took the 
train to Barcelona. In an hour or so we passed Alcala de 
Henares, a once flourishing university, the cradle of Cer- 
vantes. It is at some distance fromi the railroad and we saw 
only a few large buildings, convents, and churches. It is now 
an almost deserted place, as is also the once celebrated city 
of Guadalajara, whose glory is also gone, and which we 
reached not long afterwards. We entered the mountains of 
Medinaceli. Here is the water-shed between East and West, 
The Henares empties into the Tajo, flowing westward to the 
Atlantic, and on the other side of Medinaceli across the 
Sierra de Mistra flows the Jalon, a tributary of the Ebro, 
emptying into the Mediterranean. The cars were all crowded, 
mostly with fashionable ladies and their " servidumbre " from 
Madrid bound for the much-patronized baths of Albania. 
That watering-place is situated in a stony valley surrounded 
by high rocks, without a shade-tree to be seen, and the build- 
ings themselves are, from the outside at least, more than 
forbidding. How thousands of people could stay here, mostly 
for pleasure only, was incomprehensible to us, used as we 
were to the shady, well-improved bathing-places of other 
parts of the world. 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 341 

The building of the railroad through the Sierra de Mistra 
must have been of the greatest difficulty. On the brink of 
the precipices, often almost in a circle, it winds itself over 
deep ravines and through many tunnels and over innumer- 
able bridges through this volcanic mountain range. One of 
the most African cities in Spain, the second largest after 
Saragossa in Aragon, is Calatayud. The railroad-station, 
which, by the way, has a most excellent restaurant, is a little 
too far off, to see much of this queerest of all cities. The 
lowest part of it, richly blessed with chapels, convents and 
churches, stretches itself to the foot of a high, rocky, isolated 
hill which is hollowed out. One sees from the outside only 
rows of holes some of which go through the hill with an open- 
ing on the other side, and these narrow alleys I know no 
better name are inhabited by thousands of people. It is 
the oldest part of the town, and is said to have .been the 
dwelling place of the Moors. It is still called La Moreria. 
Through the most fertile and smiling valley of the Jalon, 
which we crossed at least a dozen times, we finally, about 
dark, landed in the well-built and fashionable West End of 
the "Siempre heroica" city of Saragossa. 

SARAGOSSA 

Saragossa! There are names of men and of things, I 
said in my ' ' Aus Spanien, ' ' which, through the very ideas con- 
nected with them, make the heart beat more violently, excite 
the imagination, and arouse an intense desire to see the per- 
sons or the places bearing them. Different persons may be 
attracted by different names. Amongst those which even in 
my youth stirred my emotions, names such as the Acropolis, 
the Pillars of Hercules, Rome, the Rhine, Rio Janeiro, Mexico, 
Niagara, the Parthenon, the Alps, Lago Maggiore, Marathon, 
Roncesvalles, Alhambra, Ruetli, not to speak of men, the 
last was not Saragossa. The name of Saragossa, the heroic 
defence of which occurred in 1809, the year of my birth, must 
have quite early fallen on my ears, as my father and mother 



342 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

with their fiery hatred of French oppression were enthusiastic 
for the daring defenders of this country. 

The ' ' Fonda del Universe ' ' where we stopped was one of 
the finest in Europe at that time. We made a thorough explora- 
tion of the city, but it would take too much space even to at- 
tempt to give an account of what we saw. If the Saragos- 
sians are proud of the valor of their ancestors, they are equal- 
ly proud of their patroness, the "Virgin del Pilar." This 
precious idol has a most romantic history. It was brought 
thither, in the year forty after Christ, by no less a person than 
the Holy Virgin herself. San Jago, the Apostle, the great 
patron of Spain, lived here, at Caesarea Augusta, and the 
Mother of God was accompanied by her own one thousand 
angels and others which God the Father had lent her for this 
trip. This wooden puppet is rather small and holds a smaller 
doll in one of its arms. The visage of the Virgin is brown, 
nearly black, as nearly all the old Byzantine representations 
of the Madonna are. She stands on a pillar of jasper, which 
was also brought along. These dolls are most richly dressed, 
and bespangled with precious pearls and most exquisite jewel- 
ry. They stand in a little chapel in the midst of the Cathe- 
dral del Pilar, but are enclosed by a gilded railing. This 
Virgin has a shrine in which a great many costly dresses and 
mantles are kept, presents from pious devotees, and from 
time to time there is a change of apparel. It is said that the 
value of the pearls and diamonds on the robes is immeasurable. 
When the French took the place by storm in the year 
1809, and the city was given up to plunder, the Virgin 
must have been hidden away somewhere very securely, as 
otherwise the Lady of the Pillar would surely have been dis- 
robed. It is whispered, however, that a good many of the 
precious stones have been replaced by imitations. One thing 
is certain, that for lovers of jewelry, particularly the ladies, 
this idol is an immense attraction. 

The Church of Pilar by itself is large, but not at all of 
remarkable architecture. The other cathedral for Sara- 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 343 

gossa rejoices in two cathedrals San Salvador, usually called 
El Seo, is also of very vast dimensions, built partly in fine 
Gothic, partly in very late Renaissance style. 

We were also very much interested in the hanging bell 
tower, three hundred feet high, octangular, showing a dif- 
ferent style in each story. It seems likely to fall down any 
moment. Its top hangs nine feet over the perpendicular line ; 
looking up to it one feels almost giddy. It certainly was not 
built that way, for deep depressions near it would prove that 
it was twisted into this shape by an earthquake. We were 
anxious to ascend it. But the guardian was out promenading, 
* ' al paseo, ' ' and as the time of his return was quite uncertain 
we would not wait for him. 

IN FRANCE 

We left Saragossa in the evening. Part of the way we 
had the Ebro on our right and traveled through an open 
country; from time to time we had splendid views of the 
Pyrenees, which through the clear transparent atmosphere, 
appeared quite near, the highest peaks being covered with 
eternal snow. Passing the very interesting town and fort- 
ress of Lerida we entered the valley of the Llobregat and the 
foothills of the Pyrenees. There being a very bright moon- 
light, we caught south of us, not very far from Barcelona, 
some glimpses of the Montserrat with its most fantastic 
pinnacles forming cones, pyramids, sugar-loaves and most 
anything imaginable, some of these formations reaching a 
height of four thousand feet. Early in the morning we land- 
ed in our favorite city of Barcelona. 

Through a most fertile valley, bounded on the east by 
the Mediterranean, where the Indian corn grew as high as in 
the Mississippi Bottoms, we went to old Gerona, so celebrated 
in all the many wars of Spain, nearly entirely hid in rocks, 
and then by stage through a very romantic, partly mountain- 
ous country covered with magnificent woods of live oak and 
pines and through Figueras to the French town of Perpignan. 



344 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Here again we reached a railroad. The railroad follows the 
shores of the Mediterranean, partly through bays ; we passed 
by Cette, Beziers, Narbonne, Nimes, Montpellier and Tar- 
ascon, where we struck the Marseilles and Lyons road again 
and reached Lyons through the now familiar magnificent val- 
ley of the Rhone. 

At Lyons in the new and very elegant Grand Hotel we 
had the pleasure of meeting the Matteson party again on their 
return from their southern tour. "We spent some very pleas- 
ant days together and found in the museum a rich collection 
of fine pictures, some by Paul Veronese, Tintoretto, and 
other Italians, equal to those we had seen anywhere. There 
were many other objects of the fine arts. What struck me as 
somewhat remarkable was the presence of a strong German 
element. That all the waiters in the hotels and cafes spoke 
German was natural enough. But I met groups of people in 
the public squares and the charming parks of the Tete D'Or 
who talked German. In the cafes and restaurants into which 
I went with my friend Curran, Munich and Erlanger beer 
was the principal beverage and German was spoken at a great 
many tables. Were all these German people from abroad, 
or was there still a trace left of the population of ancient 
Lyons, one of the Imperial cities where the German emperors 
held their diets? The parting from this noble city with its 
most beautiful environs was always a most hard one. 

The train took us up the Saone, through the old capital 
of Burgundy, Dijon, through Besangon and the charming 
valley of the Doubs to Montbeliard, and passing the great 
fortress of Belfort we found ourselves in the smiling plains 
of Alsace. It was Germany all over. Already up the Saone 
through Burgundy and the Franche Comte the cities and 
particularly the villages have a somewhat German appearance. 
Hay-mowing was in full blast, and the villagers, men and 
women, were out in the fields. In their dress and in their 
whole carriage they hardly differed from the farmers of Al- 
sace. From Belfort to Strassburg we hardly heard a French 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 345 

word spoken. At every station girls came out with glasses 
full of foaming beer in their hands and with "pretzels" to 
refresh the travelers during the two-minute stops. 

STRASSBURG AND HEIDELBURG 

We rested, of course, a few days at Strassburg. Since I 
left it in 1833, accompanied by two gens d'armes, it had im- 
mensely improved. I hardly knew it again. The Minster, 
even after we had just seen some of the noblest Spanish 
churches, still impressed us deeply as the heavenward-point- 
ing creation of German art and German genius. 

Through the lovely valley of the Rhine along the Black 
Forest we went by Heidelberg to Frankfort, where we stayed 
a few days, soon returning to Heidelberg, where the family 
was to remain through the summer. We concluded to leave 
our Gustave and Paula in Germany. Gustave had been for 
some years at the Washington University in St. Louis after 
having been through schools and private lessons in Belleville, 
and was now fully prepared to attend lectures at a German 
University. Choosing law for his profession, Heidelberg, 
the law-faculty of which was one of the best in Germany, ap- 
peared to be the proper place for his studies, the more so as 
he had there the society of his Hilgard relations, and was 
only a few hours' journey from Frankfort, where we were 
to place our Paula in a ladies' academy. In Madrid, it was 
of course out of the question to finish her education. At 
Frankfort she was also surrounded by our relatives, Mrs. 
Margaret Hilgard, her daughters, and the family of the Van 
der Veldens, Mrs. Van der Velden being an Engelmann. 

At the Hotel Victoria, handsomely situated on the prin- 
cipal residence street, we took up our quarters. The society 
there was very refined. From Heidelberg excursions could 
be made into the Palatinate, to Kreuznach and other places 
where Sophie had so many relations and friends. I had been 
advised to use sea-bathing, and after staying with my family 
some time in Heidelberg I set out for Kiel towards the end 
of June. 



346 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

HAMBURG 

Hamburg, after the great fire, had risen from its ashes 
in great beauty. Kiel, which, when I was there as a student 
in 1830, was a small insignificant place, had now become a 
lovely town and a number of fine villas extended far out to 
Duesternbrook along the bay. At Hamburg, a great agricul- 
tural exposition was in full blast. Learning that my friend 
Judd from Berlin had arrived, and that Mr. Haldeman, our 
charge d' affaires to Sweden and Norway, and ex-senator 
and ex-minister to Prussia Wright of Indiana, who attended 
the fair as one of the commissioners of the United States, 
were to meet at Mr. Anderson's, our consul at Hamburg, I 
returned for a few days to that place. In many respects the 
exposition was a great success. Horses from England, Hoi- 
stein, Normandy, Prussia and Southern Germany, the most 
splendid cattle from England, Holland, Holstein, Switzer- 
land, and Hungary were there in abundance. The dog-show 
was for many the most interesting sight. It was pronounced 
by connoisseurs the best exhibition that had ever been given. 
The Saint Bernards and Leonbergers, the Newfoundlanders 
and English and Danish bull-dogs, the pointers and setters 
from England were really admirable in their way. 

Agricultural implements were also well represented, and 
our Mr. McCormick took of course the gold medal in that class 
for his mowers and reapers. Hamburg was overflowing with 
people, and it was hard to get rooms. Prices were enormous. 
But whatever you got in meat or drink was first-class. 

We had, of course, a very pleasant time. At a fine dinner 
at Mr. Anderson's, graced by the presence of his very lovely 
wife, where several other Americans were present, we were 
more than unusually joyful because the news had just ar- 
rived of the taking of Vicksburg and the battle of Gettysburg. 
Of course, we had many toasts and speeches. Ex-minister 
Wright, who, during the exhibition had taken every oppor- 
tunity to indulge in speech-making, was particularly eloquent 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 347 

on this occasion, though at home he had rather the reputation 
of being an anti-war Democrat. 

But indeed a heavy load had fallen from our hearts, and 
we thought we saw daylight at last. 

While at Hamburg a Reuter telegram in one of the 
morning papers struck my eyes. It stated in substance that 
Spain was willing to join France in recognizing the independ- 
ence of the Confederates. Knowing very well that the Reuter 
Bureau was, as regards the United States, entirely under the 
influence of the English and French friends of the Secession, 
I felt no alarm about this telegram, considering it as a mere 
feeler thrown out before the last news of the victories had 
reached Europe. Nevertheless, I at once instructed Mr. Perry 
to call on the Marquis of Miraflores and ask him categorically 
what truth there was in this report. 

Mr. Perry, according to my instructions, went to La 
Granja (San Ildefonso), where the court and the ministry 
were then summering and on the 9th of August wrote me con- 
cerning this matter. "I received the most satisfactory as- 
surances from the Marquis of Miraflores as to the recognition 
of the Southern States by Spain, and forwarded the same to 
Mr. Seward, as authorized by the Marquis to do." 

KIEL IN 1863 

Of my never to be forgotten sojourn at Kiel some extracts 
from a letter I wrote to Mrs. Rosa Tittmann may give an 
idea: 

" Bad Duesternbrook, July 13, 1863. 

' ' Dear Friend : Here on this grand bay, under the shade 
of gigantic beech and oak trees, such as are found only on the 
isles of the Baltic, I cannot resist writing to you once more. 
Entering these noble forests, I feel a sort of swelling of the 
heart. Tears come to my eyes. The temple forests of Gothic 
and Moorish architecture which I have seen in their perfec- 
tions, must yield here. God worships himself best. This 
emotion often gives place to a feeling of home pride. 

" The German blood rises again in me in spite of thirty 



348 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

years of America, and in the midst of the woods I raise my 
voice and sing: 

"Da lob' ich mir die deutschen Buchenhallen, 
Durch deren kuehle Woelbung Hoerner schallen 
Und unter Erdbeer'n wilde Rosen glueh'n." 

"How would you be enchanted by these charming envir- 
ons, by this brave, quiet, cleanly people, full of natural polite- 
ness, touched by civilization far enough not to be rude, but 
naive and uncorrupted in our frivolous times. Since the few 
days I have been here I feel myself strongly inclined to be- 
come thoroughly virtuous. 

' ' We rise in the morning between six and seven o 'clock 
what a contrast to the life I have led during the past year! 
The hotel folks get up at four o'clock. Consider that at 
this season of the year it is daylight as early as three o'clock 
and that the sun sets at nine in the evening. One can see the 
pictures and photographs in the show-windows at ten o'clock 
at night. Then I go through the dense row of linden and 
elm trees to the bathing place, only a few hundred steps from 
my hotel, which has in front a beautiful park and in its rear 
on rising ground freshly mown meadows, exhaling the deli- 
cate fragrance of new-mown hay. 

"The water was rather cold, sixteen degrees Reaumur 
was the warmest, but most of the time it was only from twelve 
to fourteen degrees, so that I could hardly stay in longer than 
five minutes. The hotels and villas along the sea-shores are 
handsome, built in good taste, and surrounded by beautiful 
gardens, close to the bay with fresh air and splendid vistas. 
"What a harbor! In the war with Russia the united French 
and English fleets stayed here under the walls of the city ana 
had plenty of elbow-room. Kiel has one of the best natural 
harbors in the world. The bay at its mouth is almost entirely 
closed by some moderately high hills and widens towards the 
city, it being deep enough for two or three miles for the largest 
war-steamers. 

"After the bath, a lively walk, and then coffee is taken 
rather an innocent beverage. But so much better is the cream, 
and what butter! Everything, in its peculiar perfection, ex- 
cites interest, nay, commands awe! Then I take to writing, 
reading, and promenading in the garden. Through the kind- 
ness of the Russian consul I have free use of the Reading 
Club, and can take out as many books as I want. Dinner is 
at two o'clock. For the present the hotel-society is made up 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 349 

of ladies only, old and young, from Hamburg and Berlin. 
'Very interesting to you,' I hear you say. 'No'; for from 
natural curiosity they have learned from the waiters who I 
am, and now have put themselves on their best behavior; 
whether on their own or my account, I will not undertake to 
decide, but will leave it to your judgment, as you must know 
this better than I do. A siesta after dinner, and then a walk 
for from two to four hours. 

" Roses and jasmine (syringa) are now in great abund- 
ance and in full splendor, almost as luxuriant as in Anda- 
lusia in May. What a wonderful journey we have made ! The 
roses, my favorites, remind me of it. In the middle of April 
we met them first at Aranjuez. In the middle of May we 
lived amongst them at Granada, Malaga, and Seville. They 
accompanied us through France and Spain and Germany 
through June. Traveling farther north they blossomed in 
their early freshness in Hanover and Hamburg, and they 
are now here in their finest bloom. 0, it was a delightful 
journey! I have found that though years and many afflic- 
tions have deadened in some degree my natural disposition 
to enjoy life, there has yet remained to me an open eye for 
the beautiful in nature and art. I shall feel sorry to leave 
Germany. It is yet a gem of the purest water." 

I did not dream then how soon that fair spot would be 
the scene of war, and that those peaceful and quiet people 
would be called to arms against the oppression of the Danish 
government. To be sure, trouble had been brewing for some 
time on account of the King of Denmark's claiming the right 
td incorporate the German dukedom of Schleswig with Den- 
mark proper, although there was only a personal union exist- 
ing between Schleswig and the other dukedom of Holstein 
with Denmark, and although Schleswig and Holstein were by 
former treaties to be eternally united under governments es- 
sentially independent of the Danish crown. 

The German diet at Frankfort had taken up this matter 
and had summoned the King of Denmark to withdraw his 
claim, threatening to protect the rights of the dukedoms by 
military execution. But still it was thought that the difficul- 
ties would be amicably settled, the more so as the diet had 



350 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

always shown a great want of vigor in asserting the rights 
of Germany against other powers. 

I had no opportunity of becoming acquainted with the 
citizens of Kiel, but in my various trips through and from 
Hamburg I had listened to the conversations of fellow-passen- 
gers, intelligent Holsteinians, and from their casual discus- 
sions I learned that a deep feeling hostile to Denmark was gen- 
eral. The Hamburg press had also taken up the cause of the 
dukedoms with much spirit. A little incident which hap- 
pened while I was at Duesternbrook, small as it was, still 
showed the prevailing sentiment even of the lower classes of 
the people. My servant Francisco had gone one evening in 
company with the hotel waiters to a neigboring village to a 
dance. The next morning he begged permission to ask me a 
question. He then said that there had been quite a row at 
the ball. Some Danish soldiers had entered the room behav- 
ing very well ; but when they came up to the girls to ask them 
for a dance, the girls would turn their backs on them and 
would say : ' ' Nit Dansky ! ' ' The soldiers made a noise about 
that, but they were put out by the men. Why, asked Franz, 
would they not dance with them? He had understood 
"dansky" for dance. Of course, I could not enter into an 
explanation. When Palmerston had publicly declared that no 
man in the world was able to understand the Schleswig-Hol- 
stein question, it would have been idle to make Francisco 
understand it. 

BERLIN IN 1863 

The weather, and consequently the water, got too cold for 
bathing, and so I had to shorten my stay. The additional 
week I had intended for Kiel, I utilized by taking a circuit- 
ous route back to Frankfort, via Berlin, Dresden and Leipsic. 
In very pleasant company I left Hamburg very early in the 
morning and reached Berlin, where I put up at the Hotel du 
Nord, Unter den Linden. Judd and family had gone to some 
watering-place in Silesia; but my old friend Hermann Kreis- 
mann from Chicago, then secretary of legation, took charge 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 351 

of me, and being thoroughly acquainted with the city acted 
as my cicerone. Judd had placed his carriage and coachman 
at my disposal, so that I could see many sights in a compara- 
tively short time. Berlin was then as different from what I 
found it in 1830 as the present Berlin is from that of 1863. The 
great equestrian statue of Frederick the Great with the sur- 
rounding groups was right opposite my window. The splen- 
did Schlossbruecke, ornamented by antique marble statues, 
I had to pass before I came to the Royal Museum, which was, 
of course, the very first place I visited. The Old Museum, 
fronting the old Royal Palace, I had seen when first in Berlin. 
The celebrated Amazon of Kiss in bronze now ornamented the 
colonnade before the main entry, reached by a noble flight of 
stairs. 

The New Museum, connected by an archway with the old 
one, is devoted to a complete collection of fine statuary both 
old and new in plaster of paris, forming a history and school 
of plastic art. It also contains a rich collection of engravings 
and drawings of every kind and of curiosities from every 
land. The walls of the colonnade of the Old and also of the 
New Museum are covered with frescoes designed by Schinkel 
and Cornelius. The very rich collections of marble and bronze 
statues, of coins, gems, and vases in the Old Museum, I had 
no time to examine at any length; it was the picture-gallery 
which attracted me most and to which I went repeatedly. 

Like the statuary and other articles of interest, the pic- 
ture-gallery is divided into the different schools chronologi- 
cally, so that the development of the art may be studied. 
This is the great merit of this collection, and I do not know 
of any other which offers this advantage to the students of 
the fine arts. There are some very interesting old paintings 
of the pre-Raphaelitic times, but Raphael himself is poorly 
represented. The catalogue gives his name to six pictures, 
but theie are but two which are really remarkable, the Maria 
with the Child holding in his hand a little goldfinch, and the 
Maria and Child di Casa Colonna. There are four very ex- 



352 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

cellent Bordones. Three magnificent portraits by Titian, and 
one equally fine portrait by Giorgione are the only remarkable 
pictures of the old Venetian school. But I cannot stop to 
mention the many fine pictures of the Italian salons. I will 
point out but a few which riveted my attention most: the 
great masterpiece of Correggio, lo, and Leda and the Swan, and 
an Amor by Michael Angelo. Of the Spanish school, there 
are in the catalogue four Murillos, of which but one portrait 
may possibly have been painted by him. One Zurbaran ap- 
pears to be genuine. The Flemish and old German schools are 
well represented. The Van Eycks, Memlings, Van der Weydens, 
Holbeins, Van Dykes, Rembrandts, and Teniers, and the ex- 
amples of Rubens, Floris, and Quinten Massys, bear no com- 
parison with those in the Madrid gallery; Velasquez, at that 
time at least, was absent in Berlin. 

The collection of Wagener, comprising some two hundred 
and fifty paintings of living masters, which he bequeathed to 
the King, and which the latter placed in the Academy building, 
was also visited. I enjoyed it more than the gallery of the 
Museum. Some of the very best modern painters are here 
represented, such as Begas, Hildebrandt, Meyerheim, the 
Schirmers, the Achenbachs, Cornelius, Hasenclever, Lessing, 
Sohn, Meyer of Bremen, Adam, Buerkel, Hess, Riedel, Rott- 
mann, Rahl, Biermann, Gallait, Leys, Verboeckhoven, Gudin, 
Robert, Vernet, Calame, Schiavone, and Landseer. There is 
not one picture there which is not of the very best of these 
masters. 

My time under the attentive guidance of Kreismann 
was well spent in Berlin. As an instance of American business 
mania, I may say that quite early one morning when I was 
just dressing a waiter handed me a card with the name of 
Cyrus McConnick of Chicago on it. I had never seen him 
before as I remembered. The portly gentleman came in. He 
had arrived late the night before, had seen my name in the 
register, and, as he was to be off for Brandenburg in an hour, 
he excused his early call, saying he could not leave Berlin 



without paying his regards to me, as I had given good rec- 
ommendations to his agents at Madrid. I asked him whether 
he had been in Berlin before, and he said he had not. I pressed 
him to stay, saying that there were some very fine things 
to be seen, and that I had a carriage at my disposal and would 
take pleasure in driving him around. But he would not 
listen to my invitation. "Business before pleasure," he said, 
and so he left for Brandenburg, where I believe a local fair 
was going on. I became in later years very well acquainted 
with the millionaire and his handsome wife, and spent many 
hours at his house. I do not believe, however, that he enjoyed 
his fortune very much. I never heard him talk about any- 
thing else but business matters and local politics. 

On comparing notes with Mr. Kreismann I found that the 
living at Berlin at that time of a foreign minister was at least 
one-third cheaper than at Madrid. Rents, wages, horses, car- 
riages, all kinds of provisions, theatres, and concerts cost in 
Prussian dollars what it cost in Madrid in gold dollars. In 
many articles the difference was still greater, as in dress. Yet 
our government makes no difference in the respective salaries. 
Vienna, Mr. Kreismann said, was still cheaper. The inade- 
quate salary of our ministers is the reason that of late years 
successful merchants, owners of mines, rich newspaper-pub- 
lishers, in other words, men of great wealth only are generally 
sent on foreign missions whether they are specially qualified 
or not. Most of them to my certain knowledge cannot speak 
any other language than their own, and their popularity 
abroad is purchased by giving elegant and costly dinners and 
balls. 

DRESDEN 

Dresden surpassed my expectation. The charming situ- 
ation, the many fine churches and other public buildings, the 
museum and the theatre, both magnificent creations of the 
brother of my friend Semper whom I lost at Jena, the enchant- 
ing promenade, the noble broad river make it a most delight- 
ful place of residence. Most of the three days I spent in the 



354 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Museum of Statuary and Pictures. The Dresden Gallery 
is world-renowned. The Sistine Madonna occupies a small 
salon by herself. The first time I looked upon it I was almost 
moved to tears. For an hour or so I sat on the divan opposite 
the picture. What detracts from it is the ravishing beauty 
of Santa Barbara at her feet, rivaling the beauty of the 
Madonna even. Pope Sixtus adoring her on his knees is one 
of the finest pictures Raphael ever painted. The Virgin here 
appears as the queen of heaven with the child in her arms, 
descending from heaven as a full Italian beauty. The child 
is not the best of Raphael's children, and the coloring in the 
immense tableau is not as harmonious as it might be. The 
red tunics and the dark blue cloak contrast too much with the 
green drapery on the upper part of the picture. Yet take it 
all in all, the Sistine Madonna is certainly one of the greatest 
masterpieces of the divine Raphael. 

At the opposite end of the vast building is another small- 
er salon, almost exclusively devoted to the younger Holbein's 
Madonna, adored by the family of Burgomaster Meyer of Basle. 
It is what is called a votive picture. If the Sistina is a revel- 
ation of southern, Holbein's Virgin is a revelation of German 
beauty. With blue eyes, and the fairest complexion, the very 
picture of sweetness and innocence, she stands erect with a 
quite realistic child in her arms, accepting the pious thanks 
of a family whose child has recovered from a deadly sick- 
ness through her supposed intervention. In its way this pic- 
ture is as precious a treasure as the Sistina. 

And yet Murillo's Madonna in the Madrid Gallery, the 
one surrounded by a crowd of people, young and old, rich 
and poor, and before which one or more copyists are always 
busy, appears to me not only equal but superior to the two 
Dresden Madonnas. Count Schack, himself the possessor of a 
very select picture-gallery at Munich, and who, from repeated 
visits, is familiar with all the picture-galleries of the continent 
of Europe, speaks in his late work, "A Half Century," 
of the Madonna of Madrid in this wise : 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 355 

" In this picture of the Conception, Murillo has left 
beneath him the nether world and draws us up to a region 
to which only Raphael's Sistina has risen. The latter, it is 
true, appears as the queen of heaven, the one of Murillo as 
the timid Virgin Maria, just budding into womanhood, find- 
ing herself transported into another world. Standing on a 
half moon and surrounded by a jubilant crowd of angels, she 
feels herself enveloped by sheets of light of a higher world. 
The finite has sunk into depth beneath her; eternity opens 
above her; and out of the full light, blinding mortal eyes, 
emerge new angelic faces to the infinite. Murillo has painted 
this subject repeatedly, but the picture in Madrid appears to 
me the most beautiful, and it is certainly one of the highest 
wonders of art. The one which formerly belonged to Mar- 
shal Soult and is now in the Louvre, may be of more pic- 
turesque effect, but in spiritual conception it is far below the 
Madrid one." 

In the Holbein salon is also a splendid portrait by the 
same master and also a few paintings of Van Eyck and Van 
der Weyden of very great merit. 

I need not speak of Correggio's "Night" (Adoration of 
the Shepherds), his "Penitent Magdalene," now doubted, of 
Van Dyke's "David," of Titian's "Christ de la Moneta," 
and of the " Christ with a Crown of Thorns " by Guido Reni. 
They have been copied and reproduced a hundred times. 
By a sale of the pictures of the gallery of Louis Philippe, the 
Dresden Museum has come into possession of some Spanish 
pieces. Of the two Murillos, one, San Rodriguez, may be gen- 
uine; the other, the Virgin and Child, is at best a bad copy. 
There are Riberas, replicas or copies merely, as I believe ; from 
Velasquez, there is a splendid portrait of the Conde de Olivar- 
ez, a replica, from Madrid. One Alonzo Oano and one Zurbar- 
an are of no importance. 

Taken altogether, the Dresden gallery with its two thous- 
and paintings is unquestionably the best in North Germany, 
and in its Raphael and Holbein Madonnas equal to the Louvre. 
In what is called the Green Vault, which, on account of its 
very precious stones, glasses, china, pottery and other curi- 
osities, is even more patronized by the multitude than the 



356 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

gallery of statuary and pictures, I lost but little time. Interest- 
ing to me was a pistol more than a hundred years old with 
three revolving barrels, which no doubt was known to our Colt, 
who passes for the inventor. 

LEIPSIC 

From Dresden to Leipsic there is quite pleasing scenery. 
Perhaps no city has so rapidly improved since I was there 
last in 1833. It had in 1863 nearly doubled its population. 
New streets, new squares, and new promenades met me every- 
where. I visited all the old places where I had so often en- 
joyed myself during my repeated visits while a Jena student. 

The City Museum in the great Augustus Place is one of 
the most tasteful and imposing buildings, and contains some 
three hundred pictures of old and modern masters. It con- 
tains three or five Rembrandt portraits, one original Bellini, 
two Murillos, probably good copies only, fine landscapes of 
Calame, and many pictures of the new French school. It is, in 
fact, a very good collection, which by this time has undoubted- 
ly been made much richer. 

I was very sorry that my arrangements compelled me to 
leave this most agreeable place just at the beginning of the 
great General Turner Festival, for which the city had already 
decorated herself. The public buildings and most all of the 
houses in the principal streets had raised the old German flag 
black, red, and gold, so long persecuted by the German 
Diet and the State governments. Triumphal arches had been 
erected in the principal thoroughfares. Festoons of evergreen 
and oak-leaves fringed the windows or were drawn across the 
streets. It was a beautiful sight indeed. The evening before 
my departure I went out to the festival hall, an immense 
building, also appropriately flagged and decorated. In going 
to the Frankfort railroad station I met numerous processions of 
Turners who had just come in by rail. It was afterwards 
stated that more than ten thousand Turners from all parts 
of 'Germany, from the extreme south and the extreme north, 
marched here in the procession. 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 357 

Courtly historians and other monarchists, statesmen, and 
politicians have been very active in depreciating the many 
meetings of the German riflemen, singing societies and Turners 
and in representing them as having been of no consequence 
whatever toward establishing German unity. It was Bismarck 
and Emperor William, they said, to whom alone Germany is 
indebted for its present greatness. If Bismarck was even a 
much greater man than he is, he could never have succeeded in 
carrying out his plans to place Prussia at the head of Germany 
and incidentally in constructing the new empire, had he not 
found the field well prepared for it. The aspirations of the 
young men of Germany towards the unity and greatness 
of the fatherland, never crushed out by the most tyrannical 
measures, sunk at last into the hearts of the people, made 
them willingly lay aside their State prejudices and to gather 
under one common banner. If public opinion had not been 
ripe for it, King "William would never have dared to put the 
imperial crown on his head. As it was, he did it hesitatingly, 
not to say reluctantly. 

SOUTHERN GERMANY, AND MUNICH AGAIN 

Sophie and the children had been passing their time at 
Heidelberg, but had come down to Frankfort a day or two 
before I reached it, about the first of August. While I was 
absent they had visited Speyer and other places in the Rhen- 
ish Palatinate, Winnweiler and the home-place of Sophie, also 
Kreuznach and Bacharach. They concluded to stay some time 
longer in Germany, while I was desirous of visiting some of 
my friends in South Germany. In a couple of weeks Sophie 
and Augusta were to meet me at Berne. Pauline was to remain 
at Frankfort and Gustave at Heidelberg. It was hard for -me 
to part with lovely Pauline at Frankfort. 

From Heidelberg I went to Stuttgart, which I hardly 
recognized, so much had it grown in size and beauty. The 
park from the royal palace to Cannstadt is one of the finest 
I have ever seen. The museum and Danecker's atelier were 
of course visited, also the Cannstadt bath. Stuttgart has now 



358 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEB 

become a favorite place for Americans, and deservedly so; 
for a more lovely city, a more agreeable people, a more pleas- 
ing scenery can hardly be found anywhere. By Ulm and 
Augsburg I went to Munich where so many memorable recol- 
lections crowded upon my mind. 

I put up at the new and very splendid Hotel of the Four 
Seasons in Maximilian Street. Julius Hilgard, son of Mar- 
garet Hilgard, who occupied an important office in the Bavar- 
ian railroad department, had received me at the depot and 
took me in charge during my stay at Munich. During the 
daytime he was mostly occupied, but during the evening he 
took me to some of the many pleasure-gardens, where people 
of all classes, from the ministers and high officials down to 
the clerks and mechanics, and even private soldiers, enjoy 
themselves, listening to fine music from the military bands 
and sipping the world-renowed Munich beer. A great many 
families take their suppers there regularly. Of course, wine 
and coffee and tea can also be had, but beer is the leading 
beverage. There are also more exclusive places of recreation, 
but when the beer is exceptionally good at one garden, all 
distinction of class and rank disappears. The excellence of 
the drink confers nobility on all comers. 

I had intended to call on Gustave Hilgard, Sophie's cous- 
in, and father of Henry Hilgard (Villard) one of the judges 
of cassation, the highest tribunal for the Rhenish Province of 
Bavaria, where the Code Napoleon still prevailed. But his 
state of health was such that he could receive no visitors; so 
I merely left my card. I had a pleasant visit from Doctor 
Schroeder, whose acquaintance I had made at Madrid and 
who had attended our family as a physician. He had 
come there with Prince Adalbert of Bavaria, who had spent 
the greater part of the winter before at Madrid with his wife, 
who was a sister of the King. Prince Adalbert, the youngest 
son of the poet-king, Louis I, was a remarkably fine-looking 
man of very pleasant manners. I was first introduced to him 
at a children's ball at the palace, and he took some interest in 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 359 

me because I had been a student at Munich, and we had agree- 
able subjects in common to converse about. A few days af- 
terwards, upon the invitation of the Queen, the diplomatic 
corps and their ladies were presented to Prince Adalbert and 
wife, a small, rather fleshy, but very amiable lady, at the 
palace. The Prince, having learned that Sophie was the 
daughter of a former officer of Bavaria, expressed his great 
pleasure at meeting her and had quite a long talk with her, 
asking how the new life in America had impressed the fam- 
ily in comparison with the former comfortable life in Ger- 
many, etc., etc. Amelia de Bourbon, his wife, had been well 
educated, and I found in the New Pinakothek, a landscape 
representing the village of Cravanchel near Madrid, painted 
by her in oil, of really great merit. The Prince resided at the 
time in Nymphenburg. The doctor had informed him of my 
presence, and so I received an invitation from the Prince to 
spend a day with him at Nymphenburg. It reached me, how- 
ever, by some negligence on the part of the hotel-clerk, a day 
late, when I was getting into a carriage for the railroad-station 
bound for the West. I had hardly time to inform the Prince 
by a note of my inability to comply with his invitation. 

That I improved the opportunity of revisiting the Glyp- 
tothek, containing the best collection of ancient statuary in 
Germany, and also the two splendid buildings to which the old 
picture-gallery had been removed, may well be imagined. The 
Munich Gallery is beyond question the finest in Germany, and 
in many respects surpasses the Louvre. The Rubens and Van 
Dyke collections, as those of the other great masters of the 
Flemish and Netherlandish schools, are in numbers almost equal 
to the Madrid collection of the same painters, though, as far as 
Rubens is concerned, not in quality. The Italians are well 
represented ; it claims ten or twelve Raphaels, but none really 
can be counted among his masterpieces, with the exception of 
a splendid replica of the Madonna de la Sedia in Florence. 
There are some splendid Da Vincis, Del Sartos, a few Titians, 
and some by Veronese and Tintoretto. It has more Spanish pic- 



360 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

tures than any other gallery outside of Spain; five Murillos, 
the celebrated "Beggar Boys" amongst them, and low-life 
genre pictures. It is very singular that all of Murillo's pic- 
tures of that sort can be found only outside of Spain. I never 
saw one there. The gallery is richer also in the old German 
masters than any other I have seen. 

The New Pinakothek contains the works of modern paint- 
ers, and interested and pleased me much. The most remark- 
able are those of Schorn, Piloti, Kaulbach, Achenbach, the 
two Adams, Overbeck, Rottmann, Riedel, Leys, Gallait, Scha- 
dow, Camphausen, Wilkie, Robert, Hasenclever, and Schnorr. 

I had to be very industrious in order to visit all the places 
so dear to me from my former residence and the many new 
monuments and buildings which have made the old city a 
perfect art museum, such as the Ludwigskirche, the Church 
of Boniface, of the strictest Byzantine, -and the Au Church 
in the Vorstadt Au, of the strictest Gothic order, the statue 
of Maximilian Emanuel, the Propylaea, a wonderful Greek 
structure near the Glyptothek, the colossal Bavaria and the 
Hall of Glories on the Theresia meadow, the exposition build- 
ing, etc. I could not forbear to take a look at the old frowning 
" Frohnveste, " where I had been imprisoned in 1831 for four 
months. Willingly would I have staid a few more days, but 
the appointment I had made with my family for a meeting 
at Berne called me away. While at Munich the heat during 
the daytime was excessive. The thermometer showed 34 de- 
grees Celsius, nearly 94 degrees Fahrenheit. I astonished the 
people by using my umbrella as a parasol, a thing which ap- 
peared to be unknown there. 

SWITZERLAND 

Via Augsburg, the fertile plains of Lech and Iller, the 
most romantic and charming city of Kempten and the grand 
mountain scenery of the foothills of the Vorarlberg, I reached 
Lindau on Lake Constance. Lindau is built on a peninsula, 
and you have grand views of the Rhaetian Alps and over the 
beautiful lake, nearly as large as the Geneva Lake. Passing 



NORTHERN SPAIN AND GERMANY IN 1863 361 

a very pleasant evening promenading, and finding in the hotel 
sitting-room a highly intelligent set of ladies and gentlemen, 
with whom, stranger as I was, I felt very soon quite at home, 
I took next morning the steamer for Constance, on which also 
the company was very excellent, Germans, English and 
French. The weather was magnificent, the lake full of all 
kinds of watercraft, the views westward to the mountains of 
St. Gall and the Thurgau charming. At the hotel at Con- 
stance, brother-in-law Ledergerber was waiting for me, and 
after having visited the cathedral, the council-house and other 
memorable places in this most memorable old city, he took me 
out to his house in the country, a mile distant from the city 
but on Swiss territory, where I spent a few pleasant hours 
with him and his wife. His place is right near the lake and 
from it one has a fine view. The few acres around his house 
are laid out in a garden and very large orchards. Late in the 
evening I took a train through Schaffhausen to the little 
chateau of Laufen right on the falls of the Rhine. The hotel 
is small and not very well kept. But it is a most romantic 
spot. I was tired and went to bed, taking no look at the falls 
as there was no moonlight. But it took me some time to fall 
asleep. The falls being so close to the place, their roar sound- 
ed tremendously, and the house, though built of solid rock, 
was shaking all the time. 

In the morning I went upon the platform below the 
hotel and at the foot of the falls, projecting some over the 
river. While of course neither the volume of the water, nor 
the height of the falls can be compared with the mighty 
Niagara, yet the country around it far surpasses it in beauty 
of scenery. I went up the river where, from a hotel built 
on a high plateau, one has a most interesting view of the falls, 
the river and the mountains. 

Through Zurich, where I had a short interview with 
cousin Fred Hilgard at the railroad station, I reached Berne 
on the 14th of August and met Sophie and Augusta at the 
Berner Hof. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

Switzerland and France 

From Berne we went to Interlaken, where we took lodg- 
ings at the Dependency of the ' ' Jungf ernblick, " the hotel of 
that name not being yet finished; our dinners we took at the 
Pension Ober, the principal resort of the English. At the 
same Dependency we became acquainted with Mrs. Vogt, the 
mother of the celebrated natural scientist, Karl Vogt, and sister 
of Charles and Adolph Follenius. She was then about sixty- 
five years of age, but a woman of great vivacity and of high 
intellect. We made several excursions with her, one to Grin- 
delwald, where we visited the lower glacier, which we had not 
seen on our first visit. A day or two after we came to Inter- 
laken, our Gustave arrived in company with Max Costenoble, 
a distant cousin and his university friend, a very quiet, amiable 
young man, whose death at Gravelotte in the Franco-Prus- 
sian war as an ensign in the guards we much regretted. We 
made an excursion to Lauterbrunnen near the Staubbach, 
where we also met Max Costenoble 's father and his two daugh- 
ters. Mr. Costenoble was privy councillor in the ministry 
of foreign affairs, and afterwards reporting councillor in the 
same department under Bismarck. Max was his only son. 

INTERLAKEN 

Sophie, Augusta and myself ascended a comparatively 
new tourist point, Miirren, just above the Staubbach and 
right opposite the Jungf rau. Miirren is about two thousand 
five hundred feet above Lauterbrunnen, and it takes nearlv- 
three hours to reach the top where the hotel is. The road has 
some quite ugly places and is very steep. About half way up, 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 363 

where the path was no more than six feet wide, with a cliff on 
one side and on the other an abyss of several hundred feet, 
Sophie met with an accident which might have become fatal. 
The girth of her saddle broke, and she slid down; but the 
guide was at her horse's head, and I was walking close be- 
hind leading my horse; so we caught her in our arms before 
she fell to the ground. She was, however, not in the least 
alarmed, and after we had again made the saddle secure, she 
at once mounted her horse and went bravely on. 

We reached the hotel about dinner-time. The view of 
the Jungfrau and some of the adjoining giants was enchanting. 
There is no use trying to describe such scenery. A half a 
dozen avalanches came thundering down. Some we saw, 
others we only heard. The noise was like the report of a big 
Krupp gun. Coming down, the steepness of the road com- 
pelled us to walk most of the way. We were pretty well worn 
out when we reached our carriage at Lauterbrunnen. 

Gustave and Augusta went up to the Schynige Platte, a 
celebrated place for a vista. It is about 6,000 feet above the 
sea. Another time, they, in company with some of the guests 
in our Dependency, ascended the Faulhorn, 8,500 feet high. 
It takes one, from Grindelwald, some four hours to reach the 
highest peak. 

Both here and elsewhere Gustave and Augusta proved 
excellent mountaineers. While they were out two days on the 
Faulhorn tour, which they found most enjoyable, there being 
hardly any other place in Switzerland where such a vast 
panorama of mountains and lakes presents itself to the tourist, 
Sophie and I went in an open carriage to Spiez, a village on 
the lake of Thun, some eight or ten miles from Interlaken. 
The village itself lies on the small bay in the lake, Jbut the 
road leading to Thun, and where the hotel is situated, was 
on a high hill near the village. We had a fine view to the 
southwest of a part of the Berner Alps we had not seen here- 
tofore, the Bluemli's Alps and the Doldenhorn, and right 
before us the lake and the Stockhorn. At the hotel where we 



364 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

dined we found a Spanish, party, a lady with her daughter 
and her two sons, the only Spaniards we met on our travels 
outside of Spain. It really did us good to hear again the 
"lengua castellana" spoken. The young people spoke some 
French, and so we could carry on a conversation. They 
seemed to be equally glad to have met people who had just 
come from Madrid. They were delighted with the country, 
and particularly with Germany, where they had spent some 
months. Instead of returning by land we took the evening 
steamer going from Thun to Neuhaus, the landing place for 
Interlaken. An excursion to the Giessba^h was a matter of 
course. It is a most charming place. The falls of the brook 
are 1,100 feet high. At night during the height of the season 
they are lighted up by Bengal fires, changing from white to 
red and from red to blue. This is a brilliant sight, but still I 
preferred to look at them in the daytime, when they are partly 
darkened by the shade of the forest trees and then again illum- 
inated by the beams of the sun. 

The hotel, about three hundred feet above the lake on a 
terrace, is not as splendid as the vast caravansaries in Berne 
or Lucerne, but is exceedingly well kept. The waiters are all 
young and respectable girls of middle-class families, who spend 
a couple of months there to earn some money for the support 
of their parents and also perhaps for their health. Mrs. 
Englemann, of Berlin, and her daughter, cousins of Sophie, 
who had been staying at the hotel for several seasons, and 
whom we met here this time, told us that these girls were real 
angels, handsome, and well educated, and above all, of the 
most irreproachable behavior. When several years afterwards 
we were traveling in the Green and White Mountains, we 
found at all summer resorts young men as waiters, and were 
told that they spent their vacations in the same way as the 
German girls, (they were not Swiss,) at Giessbach. 

On our return from the Giessbach, which is at the upper 
end of the lake of Brienz, we had a real storm, not in a tea- 
pot. Our steamier was quite a small affair and rather shaky. 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 365 

It was crowded, and when we left the Giessbach landing to 
return to Interlaken, the weather was beautiful, a little too 
hot perhaps. When about half way, all at once a dark cloud 
loomed up, and in a few minutes a howling wind arose, fol- 
lowed by a tremendous shower and thunder-storm of consider- 
able size. Lightning and thunder-claps were simultaneous. 
The many passengers all fled down into the little cabin. I 
found it so suffocatingly hot there that I took my big travel- 
ing plaid, wrapped myself in it and went on deck again. I 
declare I was a little alarmed, for the pilot looked greatly 
scared. The waves began to rise threateningly and swept over 
the deck. In all the guide-books these tempests are repre- 
sented as not without danger. Fortunately, such storms fre- 
quently pass over as quickly as they come, and this one did 
not last long enough to raise the waves very high, so that our 
boat weathered the storm. The peals of thunder reverberating 
in the high steep mountains around the lake had frightened 
the company below very much, and we all breathed more free- 
ly when the sun came out again, and before we reached Inter- 
laken, the lake became as smooth as it was in the morning. Take 
it all in all, Interlaken appears to me to be the most delight- 
ful spot in Switzerland to pass the late summer months. Situ- 
ated between the two lakes of Brienz and Thun in a valley 
about three miles long and of an average width of one and one 
half miles, and through which the quiet running silvery Aar 
rushes, surrounded by mountains which leave, however, to the 
south a large opening through which you have enchanting 
views of the Jungfrau and the Silverhorn, it presents at the 
same time all the pleasures and comforts of a fashionable 
watering-place. On the north side of the valley right under 
the steep cliff of the Harder Mountain stretches a long line 
of hotels, pensions, stores, and reading-rooms, called the Hoeh- 
enweg, which wide street is shaded by a double row of chest- 
nut trees. Near Lake Brienz are two ancient monasteries, 
one of which was once peopled with nuns, and the other with 
monks, both connected together by a covered way. 



366 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Near the promenades are the little Rugen 2,500 feet above 
the valley, covered with a variety of all forest trees indigenous 
to Switzerland, and the great Rugen some 3,000 feet high, 
covered with a majestic forest, from which a great part of the 
Berner Alps are visible. The Harder on the opposite side of 
the river also gives you a fine prospect of the lakes and the 
Jungfrau. There are within a few hours' drive the celebrated 
Liitschine valleys, one leading to Grindelwald with its glaciers, 
and the other to the Lauterbrunner Thai with the Staubbach 
falls. An hour or two of steamboating takes you to Giessbach 
on Lake Brienz or to Thun on the Thunder Lake. Members 
of the Alpine Club, or as they say in Vienna, ' ' Bergf exen, " 
have the Faulhorn, the Jungfrau, the Monk and other giants 
not far off. 

THE VALLEY OF THE AAR AND ST. GOTTHARD 

These few weeks passed at Interlaken were marked in our 
memories with a double red letter. About the first of Septem- 
ber we started on another tour, following in the tracks of 
Goethe in one of his Switzerland travels, where he took those 
notes of the country which Schiller in his "Tell" has worked 
up so truthfully and so beautifully. We made this excursion 
just before the carriage road through the greater part of the 
country through which we went was constructed. Now and 
then we met parties of surveyors, busy in locating the then 
contemplated macadamized road. By boat to Brienz, where 
we took a carriage, thence up the Aar River, and passing by 
Meiringen and Reichenbach and its waterfalls, we stopped 
at Inhoff, where the turnpike road ceased, and hired two guides 
and three mountain horses. It was quite a cavalcade. One 
guide ahead near Sophie's horse, then Augusta and a guide 
and then myself. The horses were laden also with our valises, 
shawls, and umbrellas. Gustave walked most of the time, 
sometimes he rode my horse. Francisco, an excellent moun- 
tain climber, was usually ahead. These horses are surefooted, 
hard in the mouth, and never can be got out of a walk. They 
take their own way, which is always on the ' ' ragged edge ' ' of 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 367 

the mountain track. This is natural enough ; for, as they are 
mostly used for carrying heavy loads over these small bridle- 
paths winding around the rocks of the mountains, their loads 
would otherwise frequently rub against the rocky sides and 
push them over the precipice. 

The Aar valley, called the Hasli, becomes constantly more 
narrow. The ride, for miles along the banks of the Aar, roar- 
ing beneath you, on a path leaving but a few feet between the 
rocky walls of the mountain and the precipice hundreds of 
feet deep, with the road going up and down and winding in 
sharp curves around the mountain sides, required a good deal 
of nerve. These curves are most dangerous places and are 
now and then guarded by poor railings on the brink of the 
abyss. These were, when we passed, nearly all broken down, 
pointing out the danger, but failing to protect you against it. 
Late in the evening we got to Guttannen, and stopped at the 
only inn in the village, a wooden, barnlike house. But being 
very tired I slept well and soundly, and woke up pretty late 
to find a big fog settled in the valley. Our principal guide 
thought that the weather would turn out bad, and we might 
find snow and ice ahead of us. As we had to travel up the 
Grimsel Pass and the Furka, more than seven thousand feet 
high, on very narrow winding mountain tracks, I had come 
to the conclusion we had better return ; but seeing the disap- 
pointed looks of the children and Sophie rather encouraging me 
to go on, we started, and the skies apparently cleared up. But 
hardly had we gone half way to Handeck, when the rain 
poured down. To return, however, would have been out of 
the question. Our horses had a hard time. Making three 
steps, they would slip back one on the steep, rocky wet ground. 
Many places could not have been passed at all, had not the 
granite rock been made uneven by the hand of man, small 
furrows having been cut into the hard rock. Innumerable 
waterfalls, perennial or improvised by the rain, dashed down 
from the mountain heights on each side of the Aar. The thun- 
dering sound of the falls announced to us that Handeck was 



368 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

near. Rain and fog prevented us from seeing the falls be- 
low ; so we rode up to the inn. It was originally nothing but a 
' ' Sennhuette, " to which, however, for the accommodation of 
tourists, a log kitchen and a dining room had been added. 
The dining room, which was at the same time the sitting and 
at night the bedroom, was very low and furnished with rough 
tables and benches. The smoke and the steam from the kitchen 
where the brave Helvetian guides of other parties and of our 
own had gathered, perfumed with the flavors of Swiss country 
wine, of cheese and indigenous tobacco, penetrated the dining 
room and would have made the atmosphere unbearable, had 
not the odor of a large quantity of coffee being roasted at the 
kitchen range somewhat improved it. 

In the sitting room we found a party of English, male 
and female, some German students and some French travel- 
ers, probably students too, who had, however, kept up such 
a continuous laughing, singing and chattering as to make 
themselves rather unpleasant. A German painter made this 
' ' Sennhuette ' ' his studio for some time, and his portfolio was 
well filled with sketches of Alpine scenery. A Swiss wood- 
carver had also a little shop in one corner, and sold really 
pretty carved work at half the price they asked at the big 
places. Some people who had arrived before us, afraid of pur- 
suing their route under such depressing circumstances, turned 
back, while others had come from the Grimsel. As they had 
got through, we concluded we might as well try it. 

Our dinner was boiled potatoes and a sort of mutton 
stew. As the bread and cheese were fine and our appetites 
keen, we enjoyed our meal better than any dinner in the 
hotels. In the meantime the rain had somewhat abated, and 
a sharp thunderstorm had set in. And now to the falls! 
About half a mile's walk took us to the bridge which spans 
the Aar just above its great falls. Almost stunned by the 
mighty roar of the waters we looked back from the little 
bridge towards the upper rapids. Some distance above the 
bridge the powerful mountain stream raises itself up, whips 



369 

itself into a rage and rushing down over the huge rocks be- 
fore it reaches the edge of the basin, dashes down headlong 
some several hundred feet deep into the dark abyss, where it 
boils and foams, and springs up again forming a dust-like 
cloud. And while it makes this terrific leap another large 
brook dashing down from a tremendous height on the left, 
strikes the large fall about midway with great force. This 
clashing of the water spirits makes the noise still more deaf- 
ening. 

The Aar, like all glacier-streams, has a yellowish white 
color, while the Arlenbach which strikes it is clear and trans- 
parent. And this wild marriage of waters culminates in a 
valley which in ruggedness and steepness has hardly an equal, 
and over which in the distance rise the many pointed peaks 
of the Grimsel and the awe-inspiring horns of the Finster- 
Aarh'orn. The Handeck falls is considered one of the finest 
and most picturesque in all Switzerland. 

From the Handeck to the Grimsel hospitz the road be- 
comes still more perilous. We passed several places which in 
the guide-book were pointed out as dangerous, and where as 
usual the railings on the sides of the vertical slopes were 
broken down. Indeed, I frequently dismounted, walking 
close to the mountain side. I am not inclined to giddiness; 
but as the horses took always the verge of the road, I felt some 
considerable anxiety at these risky places where one has to 
look down several hundred feet into a roaring river. The two 
guides kept close to the ladies, watching the horses. The 
higher we got, the more desolate and barren the country 
looked. No trees any more, hardly any vegetation, nothing 
but immense granite boulders, or now and then stretches of 
loose gravel which gave way under the horses' feet. 

The highest of the Berner Alps, the snow crowned Fin- 
ster-Aarhorn (13,200 feet) loomed up to our right towards 
evening; and when we got near the hospitz,, 7,000 feet high, 
the air became piercingly cold. We were glad to reach the 
old hospital turned into an inn, but very much crowded. 



370 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Owing to the unfavorable weather during the greater part of 
the day, many of the parties going either east or west had 
stopped there, and the new arrivals had filled the place to 
overflowing. Yet we got some of the very small rooms for 
our party. 

After having warmed ourselves we looked around the 
place. Close to it is the lake, called the Lake of the Dead 
(Todtensee), of a dark, inkish color. Going on a rise behind 
the hotel we had the Finster-Aarhorn and its glaciers in full 
view. A more godforsaken, weird locality than the one where 
the hospitz stands, I have never seen before, nor since, even 
in the Rocky Mountains. 

Next morning early we mounted the height of the pass, 
which is about 1,000 feet higher than the hospitz, and then 
descended the much celebrated Maienwand. It slopes down 
to the south, and is covered with Alpine roses, many other 
flowers and some meadow. It is so steep that riding is out of 
the question, and without our tall alpine staffs, we could never 
have ventured to descend. Before us rose the most glorious 
glacier of all Europe, the Rhone glacier, filling up the valley 
between two mountains over a thousand feet high and occupy- 
ing a space of more than twenty miles in length, and at the 
bottom several miles in width. 

The sun shone brightly, and this mass of ice looking 
like a frozen river coming down from a height of about 5,000 
feet presents a view which it would be an idle task to describe. 
Out of this crystal mass issues a small stream, the Rhone. 
Down in the valley we reached a new and good hotel on the 
banks of the Rhone, where there is a streamlet only. In my 
younger days I could have vaulted over it. We took some 
refreshments, and then, leaving the glacier to our left, began 
the ascent of the Furka. The bridle-path is tolerably good, 
and has but a few ugly places, but is very steep. It took us 
nearly two hours to go to the Furka pass. Gustave and our 
Galician Francisco, though excellent mountain climbers, felt 
somewhat exhausted when about noon we reached the small 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 371 

inn on top of the pass, 7,419 feet high. "We all needed rest. 
The Furka is one of the branches of the very complicated 
St. Gotthard mountains. The Rhone seeks its outlet in the 
Mediterranean. From the Furka down we enter the valley of 
the Reuss, which, emptying into the Rhine, flows into the 
German Ocean. 

On the east branch of the Gotthard rises the Inn, which, 
issuing into the Danube, flows into the Black Sea, and the 
rivers from its southern slope finally lose themselves in the 
Adriatic. The ride down through the Reuss valley was de- 
lightful. Although there are no large trees, yet there are 
bushes, large meadows and farther down in the valley even 
some fields. The Reuss is also a glacier-stream, and we had 
to cross it repeatedly. At last we saw the villages of Hos- 
penthal and Andermatt at our feet on the broad macadamized 
road leading up the St. Gotthard. I confess I was glad to 
get away from these mountain-paths and down from those 
stiff-necked, hard-mouthed mountain horses that have lost all 
spring and are more like iron machines than animals. Fran- 
cisco, when he saw the white broad road glittering before him, 
made a jump and hallooed, ' ' Miran, el camino real ! ' ' 

In a very excellent hotel we stayed over night at Hos- 
penthal. Sitting on the veranda some two or three stages full 
of passengers passed by on the Gotthard road bound for Italy. 
How we envied those travelers ! In a day we should have been 
in the land, 

"Wo die Oitronen blueh'n, 
Im dunkeln Laub die Gold-Orangen glueh'n." 

But it was not to be ! Many beautiful sights awaited us 
on our tour. We hired an open barouche and three horses, 
and early next morning followed the course of the Reuss, 
which has here become a considerable stream. We soon enter- 
ed the most picturesque and romantic of mountain-gorges, 
passed a small tunnel called the "Urner Hole," came to the 
much-renowned Devil's Bridge, under which the Reuss has a 
fall of nearly a hundred feet, and stopped some time at Goesch- 



372 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

enen near the Devil's Rock, where now the great tunnel 
through the St. Gotthard begins. The valley becomes more 
open and becomes well settled. The road is lined with tall 
fruit trees. We now come to the country of Tell. In a side 
valley called Schachenthal lies Buerglen, the reputed birth- 
place of the mythical hero. A few miles further on is the town 
of Altdorf, where he made his masterly shot. A colossal statue 
of Tell stands at the place where the event is said to have hap- 
pened. We got out and went to see it. From an artistic 
point of view it is a big failure. But thousands of people 
look at it with enthusiasm. Then to Fliielen on the Lake of Lu- 
cerne (Vierwaldstaedter See), where we came just in time to 
make connections with the steamer for Lucerne. On the banks 
of the lake are several memorable places where Tell has cut 
a figure. This region from the Schachenthal on to Fliielen 
and over the lakes by the Riitli to Kiissnacht and Tell 's Chapel 
has been immortalized by Schiller, to whom the Swiss erected 
a monument on the lake a few years ago, a rather late recog- 
nition of the halo which the great poet has thrown around 
these forest cantons. This legend of Tell proves true one of 
Schiller's beautiful verses: 

"Ewig jung bleibt nur die Phantasie: 
Was sich nie und nirgends hat begeben, 
Das allein veraltet nie." 

Augusta and Gustave left us somewhere on the banks of 
the lake to ascend the Rigi, where Augusta had not been before, 
joining us the next day at the Schweitzerhof in Lucerne. 
Sophie and I contented ourselves with visiting a very fine 
panorama of the Rigi. We had got a little tired of mountain- 
eering. Sophie would have gone with the children; for she 
was always enterprising. She was most fond of traveling, 
particularly on the water. Rivers, lakes and ocean had a mag- 
ical charm for her. From Lucerne by Sarnen and Lungern 
over the charming Briinig route on the 6th of September 
we came back to Interlaken, packed our trunks and bade fare- 
well to the lovely place. 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 373 

My leave of absence was about expiring, and I had soon 
to start for Madrid. The presence of my family was not re- 
quired there. Besides, we had not, when we left, engaged 
a house to reside in. We concluded, therefore, that Sophie 
and Augusta should pass the autumn months at Lake Geneva, 
as this was just the right season to enjoy the upper part of 
it, which in summer is almost too hot, but in fall is the very 
spot sought by those seeking health and pleasure. 

We at first intended to select Vevey for our stopping 
place; but learning at Lausanne that the better hotels there 
were overflowing with people, we went by Vevey and Clarens 
to Montreux, where we found suitable rooms at the Hotel des 
Alpes near the lake and not far from the railroad station, 
Territet. The views from the garden of the hotel were en- 
chanting. To the left the Castle of Chillon, which we visited, 
and Villeneuve, where the Rhone enters the lake; opposite 
the Savoyan snow-capped Alps and the Dent du Midi. As 
Schiller has glorified the valley of the Reuss and the Vier- 
waldstaedter See, so has the genius of Rousseau canonized the 
borders of Lake Leman from Lausanne to Villeneuve by his 
"Nouvelle Heloise. " It was hard for me to leave this fascin- 
ating region. After a stay of three days I left Sophie, Augus- 
ta and Gustave, whose lectures did not commence at Heidel- 
berg until late in September. On the llth of September, I 
found myself at Lyons again, took the train down the Rhone 
valley where I had a front coupe, with all the windows en- 
tirely to myself, and could view the magnificent scenery 
much better than on my former trips. At Nimes I stopped 
over for a night and a day. 

NIMES 

The country immediately surrounding Nimes is a rolling 
plain on which nothing but grape-vines and olives are grown. 
When in my young days I heard of the lands of the olive and 
the vine, I thought of them as an earthly paradise. The fact 
is they thrive best on poor, sterile, brown soil where all other 
vegetables cannot live. The grape-vine is cut near to the 



374 MEMOIES OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ground and looks, after the vintage is over, like the dead 
trunks of a cabbage-field in winter. The leaves of the olive 
are gray and cadaverous. A willow in the moonlight looks 
exactly like an olive tree. I forgot to mention the mulberries, 
which are frequent in the Provence. They are fine trees, but 
after they are stripped of their leaves, which is done every 
year, they present anything but a fine appearance, and look 
like so many scare-crows. 

But Nimes itself is one of the most beautiful and interest- 
ing cities. There is the Amphitheatre, one of the best pre- 
served colossal structures of the ancient Roman empire. Ex- 
cept in Rome, nothing like it remains extant. The particulars 
of this wonderful monument, built of immense blocks of stone, 
without mortar or cement, may be learned from the guide- 
books and encyclopaedias. I walked partly around the top 
seats, some two hundred feet high, and felt rather giddy ; but 
the prospect is of surpassing beauty. The finely built city 
with its boulevards and esplanades lies right before you. To- 
wards the south is an immense plain, towards the east we 
see the course of the Rhone from Avignon down to Aries; 
farther east rises the isolated mountain Ventoux near Vau- 
cluse, and in the distance the Alps. In the north the view is 
confined by the Cevennes, and towards the northeast by the 
mountains of the Herault. When the weather is quite clear one 
sees towards the southwest Aigues-Mortes on the Mediter- 
ranean. 

The Maison Carree in the middle of the city, an ancient 
temple, or, as contended by some, a forum, is another great 
sight. In my "Aus Spanien," I said of it: 

"Connoisseurs and ordinary observers are equally attract- 
ed by the building. This is a secret, but does certainly point 
to the craving of every human soul for harmony. We have 
something within us which is not taught us, but is innate, 
whether we call it the sense of beauty or something else, 
which is the standard by which we measure everything which 
falls within our perception and which makes the objects of 
our perception appear either beautiful or the reverse of beau- 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 375 

tiful according as it harmonizes or fails to harmonize with 
this standard. The style is pure Corinthian. Thirty magni- 
ficent graceful columns support the roof, ten of which project 
forward from the portico. It is a parallelogram of the most 
magnificent proportions. 

" It is now used as a museum, containing a picture-gallery 
and a large collection of Roman antiquities, votive tablets, 
torsos of statues, sarcophaguses, gathered together from the 
many ruined temples, baths and burial places found in the 
neighborhood. 

' ' Some very valuable pictures are in the gallery ; amongst 
others, the very celebrated one of Delaroche, ' Cromwell at the 
Open Coffin of Charles I.' The drawing and coloring are 
excellent, but the idea is somewhat far-fetched, and Crom- 
well in my opinion misconceived. The French love of an- 
tithesis is- here apparent. Charles's face, even in death, shows 
nobleness and high breeding, which is right enough; but it is 
not necessary, in order to show the contrast, to represent 
Cromwell as a rude trooper thoroughly vulgar in his features, 
figure and carriage. And this the painter has done and has 
spoiled the whole, to me at least.' As one of the pearls of the 
collection is considered the great tableau of Sigalon, (I be- 
lieve, a native of Nimes,) representing a slave dying from 
having become poisoned by Locusta, a celebrated magicienne 
of the time of Nero. It is terribly realistic, though painted 
in the classical period of David. The expiring slave is a true 
pathological representation of one dying of cholera. It is 
a very powerful picture, and very impressive, but the impres- 
sion is sickening, not to say disgusting." 

A very beautiful avenue in the middle of the city leads 
to the " Garden of the Fount," a spring which for its purity 
and health-giving qualities was renowned before the Romans 
occupied Gaul. A short distance from the spring and the 
adjoining Roman baths are the ruins of the Temple of Diana, 
which still show the beauty and grace of the structure. 
Around it lie hundreds of broken pillars and statues, some of 
which are of superior beauty. 

This temple is flanked by a hill laid out as a landscape 
promenade, and on top of it is the "Tour Magne," a colossal 
quadrangular tower built by the Romans, probably as a look- 
out. I went up on it, and obtained a view still vaster than 



376 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

that from the topmost wall of the amphitheatre. Unfortun- 
ately, I could not spare time to visit Montpellier, which can 
be seen at a distance from the railroad depot. From all de- 
scriptions it must be one of the most interesting places in the 
Provence. It is said to have in its museum one of the finest 
collections of paintings. I examined the catalogue and regret- 
ted not being able to visit it. 

Perpignan was reached late in the evening. The places 
in the stage for the next morning had all been taken, so I had 
to wait for the evening coach. I took a look at this old re- 
nowned place, visited the cathedral, the museum, the fine park, 
or rather, Alameda, for Perpignan is more Spanish than 
French. It is a strong fortress with a large citadel on a high 
hill. Without having any permit I went up, and to my sur- 
prise was admitted within its walls without any hindrance. 
The view from this citadel is a splendid one. To the south 
and the southwest the eye wanders over the Mediterranean, 
and the well-known gulf of Lyons. Towards the east are the 
hills of the Herault, and towards the north and west the wild 
fantastic forms of the Pyrenees tower up. 

From Perpignan in a much crowded stage-coach we as- 
cended the pass over the Eastern Pyrenees at the fortress of 
Bellegarde, the frontier between France and Spain, passing 
by Figueras, a Spanish fortress, to Gerona, and reached Bar- 
celona about noon the next day. 

A PARADE IN BARCELONA 

After dinner I had just laid myself on a sofa to rest from 
the fatigue of the terrible night I had just passed in the stage 
when the clanging sounds of military bands broke my half 
slumber. There was a great parade passing in the Rambla, 
where my hotel was situated, in honor of the news received 
from Madrid, announcing a probable increase of the royal 
family. Such a thing outside of Spain could never have been 
made the occasion of a public festivity. But the Spaniards 
are a very realistic people in some respects, and have no idea 



SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE 377 

of prudery. They call everything by its true name and find 
nature perfectly natural. I could give the most astonishing 
instances of their plain-speaking even amongst the best bred 
and perfectly pure ladies. 

This parade again showed the splendor and pomp of 
Spanish uniforms and military equipment. The line reached 
from the Gate of Peace to the harbor at the opposite end of 
this noble avenue, which is about a mile and a half long. At 
the head stood some battalions of infantry, then came three 
or four battalions of the popular riflemen, then four field- 
batteries and one mountain howitzer-battery. A regiment of 
hussars in rich and tasteful dress closed the line. The com- 
manding general with a full staff and escort rode down the 
line at a slow pace, returned at full speed, and the troops then 
defiled before him in company-columns. The mountain-bat- 
tery interested me much, for I had seen nothing like it before. 
One mule carried the small howitzer on his back, another the 
gun-carriage, another the wheels, and still another the ammu- 
nition box. Every mule was led by an artillery man, also 
mounted on a mule. The mobility and the elan of Spanish 
soldiers is admirable. They march generally at quick-step. 
Every battalion has a large band. The French appeal' quite 
steady compared with these gay and nimble fellows. I take 
the Spanish infantry, particularly the riflemen, for the best 
infantry in the world, when well led. Very temperate, used 
to no comforts, indefatigable walkers, they must form excel- 
lent light troops. The uniforms and armaments of all the 
troops are rich and of good material, no shoddy cloth, no 
iron sabres, no stiff, heavy caps. A cadet or second lieu- 
tenant carries a finer sword than a Russian colonel, and 
Prussian lieutenants of the Guard would die of envy at the 
slender natural waists of the young Spanish officers. 

Conversing, many years later, at Manitou, Colorado, 
with General Grant about his late visit to Spain, the General 
expressed the same opinion regarding the Spanish troops as 
I had done in my book "Aus Spanien." He said they were 



378 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the finest material, particularly for light infantry, he had 
ever seen. As he had attended not only parades but field- 
manosuvres on a large scale while the guest of King Alfonso, 
his judgment is certainly of great weight. 

The parade over, I had just time to make the train for 
Saragossa and Madrid. About noon the next day at Alazon, 
where the railroad from, Pampeluna strikes the Barcelona and 
Madrid road, I met Mr. Barrot, just from Paris, where he had 
spent his vacation. At seeing him I was sorrowfully reminded 
of the ending of my own leave of absence. The fair, free 
leisure-time had passed away, wherein for three months I 
had lived without restraint, following my own inclinations. 
I felt pretty much as I used to, when, as a boy, I had to wend 
my way to the dark school-rooms again after a couple of weeks 
of holidays. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

Diplomatic Life at the Court of Madrid 

On the 16th of September I put up at my provisional 
stopping-place, the Hotel de los Principes, Puerta del Sol. Now 
began another tedious and long-continued search for a resi- 
dence. At last I succeeded in getting the belle etage of a 
large new house with a marble front and a marble staircase 
of vast dimensions at the corner of the Calle de Flora and the 
Placuela de Santa Maria, not far from the Plaza Oriental and 
the Palace. Thomas and the French cook at once entered 
my service again, being very glad at my return. A chamber- 
maid, Sophie was to bring along from French Switzerland. 
Francisco and Thomas attended to the removal of our things. 
The same coachman and lackey, though with a new coach and 
horses, attended our establishment. The house was roomy 
enough for the whole legation, which was another great ad- 
vantage of this change of location. I at once found myself 
in the midst of business. The question of maritime juris- 
diction, to be settled by a convention, had met with new diffi- 
culties. I found that some of the Spanish papers containing 
charges against our government as having instigated the insur- 
rection in Santo Domingo against the newly established Span- 
ish government, had made an unfavorable impression upon gov- 
ernment circles. I was soon able to trace these reports to 
French papers, writing in the interest of the Emperor. I at 
once called upon Senor Miraflores, stating that I had no in- 
structions on this matter, but that I would take it upon myself 
to denounce these insinuations as utterly false, and that they 
originated in Paris with a view to creating an ill feeling in 
Spain against us, and that even as a matter of policy we 



380 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

should not be likely to adopt a hostile course towards Spain. 
He said that he was glad that I had brought the matter to his 
attention, that he had himself been somewhat alarmed about 
these reports and would have broached the subject to me, and 
that he was now satisfied that the charges were not true. 

FRENCH INTRIGUES AGAINST THE UNION 

I have already mentioned that when I first read in a Ham- 
burg journal the telegram from Paris that Spain was about 
to recognize the Confederacy as an independent power, I had 
instructed Mr. Perry to call at once upon the minister of for- 
eign affairs and to ask him categorically whether this was true 
or not, and that Mr. Perry had received the most satisfac- 
tory answer and had communicated it to Mr. Seward. From 
the tenor of some later despatches from Mr. Perry, treating the 
matter as more important than was at all necessary, Mr. 
Seward 's mind seemed to be still disturbed, and I received 
a despatch directing me to point out the very serious conse- 
quences that might arise to Spain if she would take it upon 
herself to lead the way in recognizing the independence of 
the Confederate States. His arguments were very full and 
positive and amounted to more than a mere warning. 

A year 's experience had taught me that it was not always 
the best thing to follow instructions. Of course one ought not 
to act against them, though there may be occasions where, 
by a sudden change of circumstance unknown to the foreign 
office, even that might be necessary. So I did not communicate 
this despatch to the Marquis of Miraflores, but wrote to Mr. 
Seward as follows: 

' ' The very valuable suggestions as to the probable conse- 
quences arising from acts of hostility committed by Spain 
towards us contained in your last despatch will be used by 
me in occasional conversations with the minister of state. In 
a very recent interview I had with that functionary, his assur- 
ances of friendship towards our government were so strong 
and his disavowal of any intention to recognize the South 
apparently so earnest that it would seem almost offensive at 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 381 

the present time for me to open the subject again in any other 
manner than in a merely casual one. ' ' 

I was very much surprised by Mr. Seward sending a copy 
of the despatch to Mr. Motley, our minister in Austria, Oc- 
tober 9th, 1863. Mr. Motley had, like all true Americans, 
looked with alarm at the Mexican expedition of Maximilian 
of Austria, supported by the French government with a large 
army of Belgian and Austrian volunteers enlisted by Max- 
imilian, and had proposed to Mr. Seward to ask explanations 
of the Austrian government in regard to this matter, refer- 
ring to the Monroe Doctrine. Mr. Seward, in his despatch to 
Mr. Motley, rather sharply directed him not to trouble him- 
self about this Mexican business. 

' ' France, ' 'said Mr. Seward/ ' has invaded Mexico, and war 
exists between the two countries. The United States hold in 
regard to these two states and their conflict the same princi- 
ples that they hold in relation to all other nations and their 
mutual wars. They have neither a right nor any disposition 
to interfere by force in the internal affairs of Mexico, whether 
to establish or maintain a monarchical or a republican govern- 
ment there, or to overthrow an imperial or foreign one, if 
Mexico shall choose to establish or accept it. ' ' 

My surprise was not so much at this disavowal of the Mon- 
roe Doctrine, as it is commonly understood, for that common 
understanding has no justification in fact, (as will be seen 
from the construction that Mr. Adams, then secretary of state, 
and Mr. Calhoun, secretary of war under Monroe, have put 
upon it, and as Mr. Benton, in his "Abridgment of the De- 
bates of Congress," has also construed it,) but that Mr. 
Seward should have communicated this letter to our minister 
to France and to me, since Spain had not only not encouraged 
the Archduke Maximilian to accept the imperial crown of 
Mexico, but, as was well known, was very much chagrined about 
it. If a kingdom was to be made of Mexico, she naturally, as she 
thought, should have had the privilege of furnishing one of 
her own princes. It might be said that Mr. Seward acted in- 
consistently, because when our war was over and we were able 



382 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEENER 

to throw a half million veterans into Mexico, he forcibly 
complimented the French out of the country; but it may be 
replied that, while the so-called Monroe Doctrine never bound 
us to any action, it still left us free to act at any time, if the 
best interests of our country required it, in assisting any 
country of this continent in any war it might be engaged in. 
Such was the construction placed on Monroe's declaration 
by the cabinet of that President and by all those who really 
were familiar with the particular circumstances under which 
it was made. 

If Mr. Seward thought that I would also busy myself 
in the Mexican imbroglio, as his communicating to me the des- 
patch to Mr. Motley would indicate, he was very much mis- 
taken; for when the Marquis of Miraflores showed great 
anxiety to know what our policy would be, as to this invasion 
of Mexico, as we must be very much interested in it, I had 
anticipated Mr. Seward by assuring the minister that, as 
far as I knew the views of our government, it was disposed 
to let matters there take their own course; that if, however, 
the government set up there should be used as an instrument 
to give support to the rebellion in our country, our course 
might be very much modified, as in such case we could hardly 
remain idle spectators. 

Not long after my arrival at Madrid I became aware that 
my principal task would be to counteract the machinations of 
the French government, through which Spain was to be moved 
to adopt the unfriendly policy of the Emperor toward the 
United States. The Spanish people generally hate the French 
bitterly, and the Liberal parties in and out of the Cortes were 
particularly hostile to the French Emperor. Notwithstand- 
ing this, there was a very influential party favoring a close 
alliance with France, partly from interested motives, partly 
from fear of the Emperor, who just then seemed to be the 
acknowledged ruler of Europe. The most distinguished lead- 
ers of the army, O'Donnell, the two Conchas, Narvaez, and 
many others, were bearers of the Grand Cross of the Legion 



383 

of Honor and had been much flattered and cajoled by the 
Emperor when they visited Paris. Even General Prim, before 
he turned against the Emperor, (having found out the real 
plans of the Mexican expedition,) had been in high favor with 
Louis Napoleon. The Condesa de Montijo was the mother 
of the Empress, and she had a large circle of friends in Mad- 
rid. The Duke of Alba was Napoleon's brother-in-law. The 
first sub-secretary of state, a Biscayan, was thoroughly in the 
French interests, and was even charged with being in the pay 
of France. One of the most important banking-houses was 
the agent of the Rothschilds in Paris. The Parisian Credit 
Mobilier and Credit Foncier had branches in Madrid. The 
railroads had been built mostly with French capital, and their 
stock was held in France. Besides, nearly all the manufactur- 
ing establishments in Catalonia, and also in Madrid, were in 
the hands of French capitalists. The French embassy, with 
half a dozen secretaries of legation and attaches and its un- 
limited hospitality, naturally exercised a great influence. 

To check this unfavorable and dangerous influence and 
to prevent its having any effect on the government, I labored 
to the best of my ability during my mission, devoting to it 
most of my time. It became evident soon after my return 
from Germany that Louis Napoleon was going to renew his 
efforts to gain over the Queen's government to his policy, 
more particularly as regarded the war with Mexico and the 
establishment of a monarchical government in that republic. 
I so informed Mr. Seward (Oct. 10th, 1863). 

' ' The Emperor of France, ' ' I wrote, ' ' is just at this 
time busily engaged in enlarging his influence in Spain. He 
and the Empress visited San Sebastian the other day, witness- 
ing some manoeuvres of Spanish troops, and expressed them- 
selves in the most flattering manner as to their performance 
and particularly as to some light-infantry tactics said to have 
been invented by Gen. Manuel Concha, brother of the present 
minister of war. The Empress, instead of accompanying her 
husband back to Paris, has gone round by Cadiz, is visiting 
now Malaga and Alicante, and, it is said, will come to Madrid 
for the first time since her marriage. Now all this is signi- 



384 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

ficant, and it can hardly be doubted that the object is to 
cajole Spain into an alliance with France in her Mexican 
policy, and into aid, if need be, in her aggressions against us. ' ' 

VISIT OF THE EMPRESS EUGENIE TO MADRID 

On the 20th of October Eugenie arrived in Madrid. She 
was received by the Queen with the utmost pomp and parade 
at the Atocha station. The people, however, showed great 
apathy, not a single "viva" being heard. When, during her 
stay, she rode out with the Queen and a splendid escort to 
the Retiro, there was here and there some hissing, and even 
' ' down with the French ! ' ' was heard. A great bull-fight, of 
which sight she used to be very fond, and which was to have 
been given in her honor, was countermanded, for the police 
had ascertained that there would be a hostile demonstration. 
It was said that the people were particularly offended because 
she had brought with her as a companion Princess Anna 
Murat, niece of King Murat, who had put down so cruelly the 
rising of the Madrid people in the French invasion of 1808. 
For three or four days there was a round of festivities at 
court, in which the diplomatic corps had to play its part. 

The first of these festivities was a gala-representation at 
the Opera House. The royal box was filled with the Empress, 
Princess Murat, the Queen, the King, and all the royal infants ; 
the other boxes of the first tier by the diplomatic corps, the 
ministers and other high officials, the marshals and generals; 
the boxes of the second tier by the staff-officers ; and the orches- 
tra seats and the parquet by the line-officers and the cadets. 
Of course, most of the invited guests had their ladies with 
them. It may be imagined what splendid toilettes, what 
oceans of pearls and diamonds were displayed on that evening. 
In Spain, as in Italy, the auditorium is often more interesting 
than the stage-performance. But while certainly a more mag- 
nificent gathering could hardly have been seen, yet the most 
exquisite opera of Rossini, ' ' Semiramide, " supported by one 
of the finest orchestras in the world, received the utmost at- 
tention. The sisters Marchesi, while by no means prepossess- 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 385 

ing in their persons, sang the principal parts in so masterly 
a manner, that, though generally it is not allowed at such 
gala-representations, loud applause was raised, the Empress 
herself not being the last to join in the general enthusiasm. 
I had an entire box at my disposition. I was sorry that Sophie 
and Augusta were away. I took, however, my friends General 
Gaertner and his wife and Condesa Pomar and her husband, 
so that my box presented quite a respectable appearance, both 
ladies being very handsome and most tastefully dressed. The 
boxes are partitioned off, and, ours being near the royal one, 
I had no opportunity of seeing much of the Empress, catch- 
ing only now and then a glimpse of her elegant coiffure. 

But the next day, upon the invitation of M. Barrot, the 
diplomatic corps met at his salon, where we were personally 
to be presented to the Empress and to Princess Murat. We 
formed a circle and she entered in what is called morning- 
dress, which, however, suited her admirably. I was not with- 
out prejudice against her. I hated imperialism and all its 
concomitants. She certainly had come for the purpose of 
influencing the Queen, the court and the government, in favor 
of the Mexican intrigue. Besides, I had heard so much in 
Madrid, (of all places in the world where scandal is most rife 
and poisonous,) of her levity of conduct, that I thought I 
was fully proof against the fascination which she was so gen- 
erally reputed to exercise. But when she went round the circle 
like a sylph; and when she spoke, (and spoke in Spanish,) and 
when her features lighted up, and her hands and fingers and 
fan and little feet kept harmonious motion with her tongue, 
I was taken captive. Yes, like Portia, "she was fair, and 
fairer than that word. ' ' 

The same night a great banquet at the Palace took place. 
She beamed with beauty in her evening dress. I did not 
sit right opposite to her, for that was the place of the Queen, 
but I was near enough for close observation. My partner, 
the wife of the Portuguese minister, an English woman of 
the most highly respectable character, who had not seen her 



386 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

for some years, said to me that the Empress was even more 
beautiful than before. She asked me with some degree of 
warmth : "Do you not think, Sir, she deserves a throne for her 
beauty?" 

Perhaps for an Empress she did not appear quite digni- 
fied enough. Her evening-dress, wonderful as it was, showed 
perhaps something bordering on coquetry. As an Andal- 
usian, as a woman and nothing else, she was the most perfect 
creature I have ever seen. That I may not be charged with 
having been seduced by her rank in praising Eugenie's 
beauty, I may refer to no less an authority than the very se- 
date, considerate, and unimpressionable Count Moltke. In a let- 
ter to a friend written from Paris, where he met the Empress 
a few years before I did, speaking of her, he says: 

"At a dinner at the Tuileries I was placed opposite the 
Crown Prince (Frederick), who sat between the Emperor 
and the Empress. The person of the Empress is a surprise : 
neck and arms are of unsurpassable beauty; her figure is 
slender, her toilette exquisite, tasteful and rich without being 
overcharged. She wore a white satin dress of huge dimen- 
sions. In her hair she wore an ostrich-feather ornament, and 
around her neck a double string of splendid pearls. She 
talks much and with more vivacity than one is wont to find 
in such a high position. ' ' 

Since writing this, I found, in a letter from Bismarck to 
his sister dated June 2nd, 1862, the following tribute to 
Eugenie's beauty: "The Empress is yet one of the most 
beautiful women whom I know, in spite of Petersburg. She 
has grown rather more beautiful during the last five years." 
Later on he writes: "Eugenie is as beautiful as ever, she 
is always amiable, and very gay." 

In my "Aus Spanien," I have given quite a full descrip- 
tion of her person and her toilette, in a letter to a lady friend. 

The amusements wound up with a gorgeous ball at the 
Palace, where all the beauties of Madrid blazed forth in the 
greatest splendor. Princess Murat was also presented to us 
at the French Embassy. She was then about twenty years 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 387 

old, a most lovely and fair girl, fresh as a rose and perfectly 
unaffected. When I complimented her on her excellent English 
she smiled and said: "Why, Sir, I was brought up in your 
country. I am a Jersey girl." A few years afterwards she 
was married to the Prince de Mouchy, a scion of one of the 
oldest houses of France, a descendant of the crusaders. Louis 
Napoleon tried very hard to connect his house with the old 
nobility. It was said that he and the Empress took great 
pains to bring this match about. 

My interview with the Empress was rather longer and 
less formal than is usual on such occasions. In my report 
of it to Mr. Seward I said: 

"The real object of her presence is much speculated 
upon. I am inclined to think that it was to open the way to 
a more cordial understanding of the two governments with 
a view particularly to Mexican affairs. 

"In her conversation with me the Empress was as civil 
and amiable as could be desired. After the usual stereo- 
typed phrases of courtesy, she inquired for the latest news 
from the United States, and said she was very anxious to 
know the state of affairs, as she had left Paris a good while 
ago and had in the meantime failed to hear much of what had 
taken place in our country. She expressed a great anxiety 
for peace, as well for the sake of America as for the reason 
that so many nations in Europe were suffering so much in- 
dustrially in consequence of the war. She wanted to have 
my opinion as to when the war would probably terminate. 
I replied that the people of the North were equally anxious 
for the restoration of peace, that their sufferings and sacri- 
fices were beyond comparison, that we had accepted the war 
reluctantly, but that in my opinion it would not terminate 
except on the total submission of the insurgents ; that division 
would involve the destruction of our national life, and that 
we were determined to preserve it at all hazards. At what 
period the success of our arms would force such a submission, 
it was of course impossible for me to say, etc., etc. With the 
repetition of the wish that peace might be very speedily re- 
stored she ended the conversation, which, though of no intrinsic 
importance, I have thought best to report to you." 



388 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Our great successes in July had not borne the desired 
fruits. Far from it: the repulse of our armies under Rose- 
crans at Chickamauga with terrible loss had destroyed our 
hope of finishing the war during this year. We should have 
felt very much depressed had it not been for the very good 
news we received of the fall elections in Ohio, Indiana and 
Pennsylvania, which had defeated the Democrats in October, 
while in the other States the Republicans had been victorious 
in the November elections. 

The Cortes were opened on the first of December by the 
Queen in person. The Santo Domingo insurrection was but 
slightly touched and in a way to show that it was rather a 
painful matter to talk about. The fact was that this annexa- 
tion was becoming daily more unpopular, and at no distant 
day would have to be given up. There was not a word about 
Mexico and the policy that had been pursued after the with- 
drawal from the expedition to Mexico. 

The first week in November Sophie and Augusta returned 
from Lake Geneva, after having stayed some days in Lyons 
making purchases. They had come by Marseilles and Alicante, 
the most convenient route. They had much to relate about 
their life on the lake, and the beautiful boating on its deep blue 
transparent waters, Gustave and Augusta having become 
excellent rowers. They brought along a French-Swiss girl 
as chambermaid, who had, they said, as far as they knew, but 
one fault, she was too handsome for Madrid. I found the 
fault pardonable. 

PATTI IN MADRID 

We were soon in the midst of social life. Of course we 
could not answer all the invitations; yet our life was more 
diversified than the winter before. Our great treat was a con- 
cert in the concert hall of the Royal Opera House, to which 
the Queen had invited, amongst other high dignitaries, those 
of the diplomatic corps who had families. Mile. Adeline 
Patti, then just twenty years of age, was the principal per- 
former, supported by some of the best singers of the Opera 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 389 

and a select orchestra. She had been engaged for the latter 
part of the season, Mme. La Grange taking her place at Paris, 
which city Patti had just left, both operas being at that time 
under the same direction. Though born in Madrid, where her 
father had been on a concert tour, she considered herself a 
citizen of the United States, where her father and mother 
lived, and where she had been brought up. I recollect that I 
heard her sing several years before I went to Spain in a con- 
cert at St. Louis when she was perhaps not more than twelve 
years of age. At any rate she called upon me as the represen- 
tative of her country, as she said to the secretary. Unfor- 
tunately we were all absent; so she only left her card with 
her compliments to the minister of the United States. When 
I called to return her visit, she was out. I have heard her 
since. Her voice has not changed much, though, of course, it 
was fresher at twenty than at forty. 

BIRTH OF A ROYAL INFANTA 

Some time in 1864 that is to say, in February of that 
year I witnessed quite an interesting scene, connected with 
the birth of another royal infanta. I have already stated 
that when I was at Barcelona on my return from Germany 
in September a great military parade had been held upon the 
official announcement of the Queen being in a delicate condi- 
tion. Now, ever since the beginning of the year, the expected 
confinement was made, I might say, the order of the day. The 
Cortes suspended their sessions. Bulletins of the Queen's 
health were published, and other proceedings of a curious 
character took place. Knowing that Mr. Seward and the Pres- 
ident would be amused by an account of these preliminaries, 
in a despatch of Jan. 31st, 1864, after stating that the Cortes 
was not in session on account of the situation of the Queen, 
whose " accouchement" was daily expected, I wrote: 

"The diplomatic corps has already received notice to be 
prepared at a moment's warning to repair to the Palace in 
order to witness the presentation of the new-born Infante or 
Infanta, which is to take place immediately after delivery. 



390 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Masses are read every day in the various churches of the capi- 
tal and the provinces to propitiate the Holy Virgin and to 
implore her assistance in the trying hour. The Queen herself 
has paid her devotions at the various shrines of the different 
Maries in Madrid which are supposed to exercise a happy in- 
fluence over such events, such as Santa Maria del Leche (Vir- 
gin of the Milk), and Santa Maria del Buene Partu (Virgin 
of the Safe Delivery). Numerous relics of saints have within 
the last few days been sent from various parts of Spain, such 
as legs, arms, collar-bones and the like, all of which stand in 
high repute as to their efficacy in procuring an easy delivery. 
The press does not fail to give full and detailed information 
of these incidents, whereby a sort of literature is produced 
which in almost any other country would not be considered 
of the most edifying character. I doubt, however, whether the 
people see anything improper in these things ; they are accus- 
tomed to this from early infancy, and the masses of the nation 
are still primitive and unsophisticated and are strangers to 
artificial refinement. ' ' 

On the llth of February the French ambassador, in hon- 
or of some distinguished strangers, gave a dinner, to which 
the chiefs of legations, some of the ministers and other digni- 
taries had been invited. Mme. Barrot not having returned 
to Madrid as yet, and no ladies being present, it was quite a 
jovial and convivial entertainment. Anecdotes were told, 
jokes cracked, and at about half after nine o'clock we retired 
to another room to sip our coffee and cognac and enjoy a 
smoke. These after-dinner sociables are generally most pleas- 
ant and lively affairs. But just as we were getting ready for 
a free-and-easy talk, M. Barrot burst into the room and with 
his usual pompousness exclaimed : ' ' Messieurs, la Reine nous 
demande." Diplomats and Spaniards are not much given 
to swearing, at least in company ; but that there was some in- 
ternal cursing at this announcement was plainly visible on 
many of the faces. There was another trouble. This not hav- 
ing been a state or official dinner, we were not in uniform, but 
in evening dress, so we had to hurry home to dress for the occa- 
sion. But we had all dismissed our carriages, it being a raw, 
cold night, and had ordered them to call for us again about 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 391 

11 o'clock. M. Barrot sent out for cabs, and, after waiting 
a considerable time, I was driven home. 

A messenger from the Palace had already been there and 
Sophie had sent for the carriage. I was rather slow in getting 
ready, hoping to come post festum and to be at once able to 
return home. But this was not to be. When I reached the 
Palace about half past ten, I found the large audience-room 
crowded with ministers, generals, judges, grandees filling 
court-offices, chiefs of the legations and about a dozen 
court-ladies. The few arm-chairs were occupied by the ladies, 
and we stood around for a long time in quite an uncomfortable 
position. The large room being very cold, fortunately one of 
the generals, I believe General Cordova, let some of us know 
that he had discovered quite a cosy room where there was a 
good fire. So about a dozen of us followed through number- 
less corridors and rooms, (there are about two or three hun- 
dred in this immense palace,) to a rather small chamber. 
Here we had seats at least, and could enjoy a smoke. Among 
the company were Generals Prim and Marchese, as well as 
Lersundi. The conversation was very lively for a while. There 
is amongst the Spaniards great cordiality. However much 
they may be divided in politics, or how often the officers may 
have been opposed to one another in the many military risings 
so common in Spain, in company they appear most good-na- 
tured fellows and speak without any reserve. I have often 
been astonished at having Spaniards, to whom I had hardly 
been introduced, treat me at once as an old acquaintance and 
with a certain familiarity, and speak of their own affairs with 
the utmost frankness. One general who had distinguished 
himself in the war with Morocco and had commanded a bri- 
gade in the Mexican expedition, a great friend of our Union, 
had called upon me several times. I asked him for his address, 
expressing a wish to return his calls. "Pardon me," he "said, 
"but I am now on the retired list, and the little apartment 
I occupy is not fit to receive visitors. I am very sorry but I 
cannot help it. Allow me to call upon you at the legation to 



392 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

see you, as I have done before. ' ' Of course, I can only speak 
of the society I have mixed with, consisting of men and women 
who had seen much of the world, and most of whom had had 
an eventful life. 

By this time it had become midnight, and it was quite 
a relief when a chamberlain came in and informed us that 
there were some refreshments ready for us in one of the dining 
rooms. So we went in and joined many others at the lunch, 
which was very simple, coffee and lemonade, chocolate and 
confectionery. Yet still there was as yet no special news of 
the expected important event. The people became very im- 
patient. I was very tired, and instead of going back again 
into the large audience-room, I remained in the antechamber 
where the ladies had put their wraps upon some divans along 
the wall. There was nobody there but two of the halberdier- 
guards at the door. I lay down on one of the lounges, cov- 
ered myself up with a fine, soft, lady 's fur cloak, and in a few 
moments was fast asleep. I must have slept several hours 
when I was awakened by loud reports of cannon of a battery 
right in the main front of the Palace. I knew what it signi- 
fied, and half -dozing I went to the audience-room. And now 
the major-domo, Mayor Baron de Carondelet, Duke of Bailen, 
led the assmbly through several rooms until we reached the 
doors of the Queen's bed-chamber, which stood wide open. In 
that apartment, which was glaringly lighted, we saw the 
Queen's chaplain, Thomas Iglesias, Patriarch of the Indies, 
the infantes and infantas, and the ministers. We stopped at 
the door, and presently the King made his appearance, hav- 
ing on a silver salver a little babe wrapped up hi a cloud of 
tulle. He smilingly showed it to us. The doyen of the diplo- 
matic corps, the Pope's nuncio, Senor Barili, in our name 
made a few congratulatory remarks, and after we had signed 
our names in a book of record we were finally released. 

It was then four o'clock in the morning. Before the Pal- 
ace there was a great crowd. ' ' Hi ja solamente, ' ' was the cry. It 
was a girl. Twenty-five salutes only had been given, while, 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 393 

if the child had been a boy, one hundred and one would have 
been fired. As the Queen had but one boy, the rather frail 
and delicate looking Alfonso, there was great disappointment 
in the royal circle. 

A few days afterwards Sophie and I, with the other diplo- 
mats and their wives, had to attend the baptism in the royal 
chapel. Of course, there was again much ceremony performed 
by a crowd of priests. The poor little girl received about 
eight names, and those of all the saints in the calendar in bulk. 
The chapel is a magnificent, but not very large, building, and 
contains some precious pictures. All these ceremonies were 
duly and fully described in the government journals, while the 
Progresista and Democratic papers made no mention of them 
whatever. 

DIPLOMATIC QUESTIONS 

Early in January, the ministry, of which the Marquis of 
Miraflores was the head, being defeated in a proposed measure, 
had resigned, and a moderate cabinet took its place. Though 
Narvaez did not take a seat in it, his friends did. The prime 
minister and minister of foreign affairs was Senor Arrazola, 
chief justice of the supreme tribunal, who had filled many 
high places before and who was considered a great jurist 
and classical scholar. It was a pity, however, that his schol- 
arship did not extend to modern languages, and my first inter- 
view with him was rather comical. Supposing that he under- 
stood French, I did not take Mr. Perry along. But, when I 
addressed him in that language, he answered in Spanish that 
he could speak neither English or French. He proposed that 
we should converse in Latin. I begged to be excused, since I 
had not spoken that language for thirty years when I had 
been graduated as a doctor of law. This I spoke in Latin. He 
then in the same language proposed a sort of compromise. He 
said if I would speak French he could understand me, and 
he would speak in Spanish, which I told him I could under- 
stand, but did not speak to any extent. As he was not yet 
posted on any pending question, our conversation was merely 



394 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

formal. Now, he was the fourth minister of foreign affairs 
I had to deal with, and as a consequence I had to begin de novo. 
Of the United States he evidently knew nothing, as he asked 
me what the prevailing language was in the "Estados del 
Norte." Was not this a fine prospect for the carrying on of 
a number of rather complicated negotiations? 

Fortunately, the moderate ministry did not last long. It 
resigned without any particular reason at the end of Febru- 
ary, and a new one was formed on the first of March consist- 
ing of men all of whom were considered very able. It was a 
kind of resurrection of the old Union Liberal party. Its 
members had, however, belonged to the most conservative wing 
of that party, and could hope for the support of the less reac- 
tionary Moderados. Alexandro Mon, who had had much ex- 
perience, having filled some of the highest offices of state be- 
fore, was prime minister and Don Francisco Pacheco, minister 
of foreign affairs. The latter had a great reputation as a 
statesman, as a most eloquent parliamentary speaker, and 
as an elegant writer in prose and verse; he was also an emi- 
nent jurist. He had been minister to Mexico, Rome and 
England. He was undoubtedly a vast improvement on his 
immediate predecessor. My intercourse with him became very 
frequent, owing to the troubles between Spain and Peru, in 
which our government took the greatest interest, trying to 
prevent war. I received despatch upon despatch from Mr. 
Seward and was given very large discretion in the manage- 
ment of this affair. Peru had no representation at Madrid, 
Spain never having formally acknowledged its independence. 
There was a consul there, who was advised by the Peruvian 
government to consult with me, and to furnish me with all 
the necessary papers and documents to show the action of her 
government, in my pleading the cause of Peru. He himself 
was not permitted by the Spanish government to act in a 
diplomatic capacity. I had also received instructions to pre- 
sent claims of American citizens for property destroyed by the 



395 

Spanish troops in Santo Domingo at the bombardment of 
Puerto Plata. 

Add to this the many pending questions and almost daily 
troubles arising in the Spanish seaports between our marines 
and the local authorities, and I must say that the last six 
months I remained in Spain would have been most burden- 
some had it not been for the great ability and the unaffected 
urbanity with which Senor Pacheco treated all subjects under 
consideration. 

A SPANISH PRINCELY BAPTISM 

Very soon I attended another baptism at the Palace, of 
quite a different kind, and having somewhat the appearance 
of an opera bouffe. The Infante Sebastian, the ugliest man 
in Madrid, had been blessed with another infanta. The Queen 
was to stand as godmother. The diplomatic corps and some 
other court-people were invited to the baptismal ceremony, 
not in uniform, however, but "en frac," as the formula runs. 
We met at the ordinary audience-room. On a large table 
stood various silver goblets, silver salvers, a big silver salt- 
cellar, and a silver crucifix. A prelate of the church, assisted 
by some priests and a ministrant, stood behind the table, all 
in full canonicals with surplices, stoles, high square caps, etc., 
etc. Don Sebastian and the other princes and princesses also 
stood around. 

After waiting a few minutes, the Queen, accompanied by 
the King, entered the room, smiling all over and holding in 
her arms the little babe swathed in old-fashioned style, but 
with a long train hanging down nearly to the ground, and 
with its head covered with a big white cap. We had formed 
a half-circle around the table, and the Queen, still holding 
the babe, went towards us, not speaking to anyone particu- 
larly but showing the baby and asking generally whether it 
was not very good-looking. Casting a comical glance on Don 
Sebastian, she said: "It does not look like you at all, at all." 
She added something in Spanish which I did not understand, 
but which must have been very jocular, for it raised an almost 



396 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

loud laugh in which the Queen heartily joined. She then 
came to the table, and the bishop intonated a Latin litany, 
which was responded to by his assistants. Then the ministrant 
took off the bishop's cap and put one of another color on his 
head. The cape and the scarf were also changed. There was 
another brief sing-song, and then the child's cap was taken 
off and his head was sprinkled with water amid some incanta- 
tions. I believe some salt was also put on his head. There was 
another change in the dresses, this time of all the priests, some 
crossing, while a short Latin prayer concluded the ceremony, 
which appeared to me and, I believe, to many others very 
ludicrous. Such performances in a large darkened church 
before the high altar at some distance from the spectators 
may have some solemnity about them; but when they take 
place right before you in open daylight, they appear child- 
ish, to say the least. 

During the christening the "nina" became restless and 
was about to cry ; but the Queen fondled it and patted it on 
the back, smiling most good-naturedly. After the baptism 
was over, the nurse entered, a handsome stout Galician in 
her national dress, of course highly idealized, and the Queen 
threw the child into her arms. 

The Queen did not make the circle, but talked indiscrim- 
inately to all of us and to her nearer acquaintances in the most 
familiar manner. I have not been at any other court, but, 
barring a few antiquated and ridiculous ceremonies which are 
still kept up at the court at Madrid, there is certainly much 
less etiquette here than at many other courts, as far as I have 
learned. I have been at balls, dinners, and many private 
audiences, and I have been astonished at the free-and-easy 
way in which everybody admitted to such places moved about. 
Some of the foreign ministers and some of their wives were 
far more buttoned up and reserved than the King or Queen, 
or any of the infantes or infantas, or any of the grandees of 
Spain. 

About this time I had the pleasure of making the acquain- 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 397 

tance of Mr. Stephan, now the very distinguished head of the 
postal department of the German Empire. It was at a party 
at Mr. Weisweiler 's. He had been sent on a special mission 
to arrange a postal treaty with Spain. He made the most 
favorable impression by his person, as well as by his inter- 
esting and instructive conversation. He was even then con- 
sidered an authority in this branch of administration and as 
a rising man. 

SAD NEWS FROM AMERICA 

In November the reverse the Union army had suffered 
at Chickamauga was amply compensated by the great vic- 
tories obtained under Grant and Sherman at Lookout Moun- 
tain and Missionary Ridge and the retreat of the Confeder- 
ates into Georgia. In the pursuit of the Confederates, by 
bad leadership a part of the Union force fell into an ambush 
and suffered severely at Ringgold. One of the best regiments, 
the 12th Missouri, met with great losses. Colonel Wangelin 
of Belleville was severely wounded and had an arm ampu- 
tated. Several other officers of Illinois were killed. Our 
nephew, Major Frederick Ledergerber, was wounded, and his 
brother Joseph, a captain, whom General Osterhaus had pro- 
nounced the best officer in the whole regiment, lost his life. 
Capt. Henry Kircher, one of the best friends of our family, 
lost one leg and one arm. A great many others from Belle- 
ville, like the Ledergerbers and Kircher, all quite young men 
who had volunteered at the first call, were killed or wounded. 

The letters we received giving all the harrowing details 
cast for days a deep gloom over our family. They had been 
the playmates and schoolmates of Augusta and Gustave. Our 
only consolation was that they had died and suffered for a 
glorious cause. Not long afterwards we received also the 
sad news of the death of John Scheel. It was not unexpected. 
For nearly three months his condition had been such as to 
leave little hope of recovery. 

The death of my brother-in-law confirmed me in my reso- 
lution to ask the President for a leave of absence of some 



398 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

months, the coming summer, that I might return home. John 
had been left as my agent to take charge of my affairs, renting 
houses, collecting outstanding debts, and watching my unfin- 
ished law-business (which I had turned over to other lawyers), 
and paying taxes. His protracted illness had made it im- 
possible for him to do any business. Besides, we had con- 
cluded that upon our salary we could not live respectably 
any longer. The many invitations which we could not refuse 
to attend and the great hospitality shown to us could not but 
be returned. We had already expended several thousand dol- 
lars beyond my salary. If the family went home, I could of 
course manage to live in a style more becoming the represen- 
tative of a great nation. Mr. Lincoln could probably find 
another mission for me where I could be at less expense. To 
let my family make the journey home without me, was out 
of the question. 

THE MADRID CARNIVAL 

Perhaps I ought to say something about one of the feat- 
ures of Madrid life, which, outside of Rome, is not to be found 
anywhere else, I refer to the Carnival. It is not a pre-ar- 
ranged festivity with programmes, as it is at Rome, Cologne 
or Mayence, but a spontaneous outburst of the people of all 
classes. From morning to night the principal streets are 
thronged with masks, mostly men, however; but the Spanish 
youths are generally disguised as women in the picturesque 
garbs of the various provinces, and, owing to their slender 
figures, small hands and feet, it is almost impossible to dis- 
cover their true sex except when they speak. Thousands of 
students go generally, however, unmasked in small bands, 
playing the guitar and stopping from time to time to play 
and sing. The higher classes take the Prado in the afternoon 
in open carriages. Very few of those in the carriages are 
masked, but now and then you see a platform-car with masked 
groups most elegantly costumed. The sidewalks on this noble 
promenade are crowded with masks who have or at least take 
the privilege to mount on the carriage steps, frequently climb- 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 399 

ing up to the box, and then, as it is called, "intriguing" the 
occupants. As they know with whom they have to deal, there 
are frequently questions asked or suggestions made by the 
maskers of a very personal character. 

It was a new and very amusing thing for us to witness 
those exhilarating and exciting scenes. The more people there 
hung around a carriage, the more the inmates considered 
themselves flattered. To say that ten thousand masks filled 
the Prado on the three afternoons of the carnival, would not 
be up to the mark. There were of course bands of music 
playing and lively chattering going on. We noticed but one 
thing like a regular procession. The employees of the two 
large Bavarian breweries, about one hundred men, paraded 
the streets, all uniformly clad, on big horses, decked in Span- 
ish fashion with ribbons, rosettes and spangles. They were 
all stout, robust Germans, and with their banners created 
quite an impression. Yet, as at all the public meetings and 
rejoicings, there was no disorder, no quarreling, no fighting. 
The most efficient mounted civil guard kept the many hun- 
dreds of carriages and riders in a perfectly quiet way in per- 
fect order, so that not the slightest accident happened. Strange 
to say, Ash Wednesday with the lower class is still a carnival- 
day, on which they have their jollification down at the canal 
of the Manzanares. 

DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS CONCERNING THE SLAVE TRADE 

Some time before this and while Senor Arrazola was still 
minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Seward informed me that by 
the treaty of Washington of August 9th, 1842, between the 
United States and Great Britain, it was stipulated that the 
parties would unite in all becoming representations and re- 
monstrances with any and all powers within whose dominions 
markets for African negroes were allowed to exist, and that 
they would urge upon all such powers the propriety and duty 
of closing such markets effectually forever ; that Great Britain 
had a special treaty with Spain by which that country had obli- 



400 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEENER 

gated herself not to allow African negroes to be introduced 
into any of her dominions; that it was understood, however, 
that the just expectations of the British government in that 
respect had been signally disappointed, and that negro slaves 
to a greater or less extent, by the connivance of Spanish subal- 
tern officers, had been imported into Cuba; that Lord Lyons 
had requested the United States to assist under the stipulations 
of the Washington treaty in remonstrating against this viola- 
tion of international law and of her treaty with Great Britain ; 
that we had, however, no special treaty with Spain, and that, 
consequently, the relations of the United States with Spain 
were of a different character from those with Great Britain; 
but that the President had authorized and directed me to 
address the Spanish government in general terms on the sub- 
ject. 

Now this was a somewhat delicate charge for me to under- 
take. The instructions of Mr. Seward were very general in- 
deed and left a good deal to my discretion. Sir John Cramp- 
ton had been to see me on the day before I had received Mr. 
Seward 's despatch and had shown me a note from Lord Russell 
in which he complained in very strong terms of the Spanish 
government for suffering the treaty with Great Britain to be 
violated and asking immediate action toward stopping these 
shipments of Africans. This note he had communicated to 
the Spanish minister. Now, we had no such treaty with Spain. 
Our treaty with England, Spain need take no notice of, and 
if she chose she could look upon our support of the English 
demand as an uncalled for interference and treat it as such. 
Spain, for reasons I have already had occasion to state, was 
oversensitive as regards her power. However, I went to work. 
It is not my object to dilate upon my diplomatic course. I 
will speak of the incident, however, at the risk of being, 
perhaps justly, charged with vanity. 

It was one of the many occasions on which a foreign min- 
ister has to use his own judgment on matters of some impor- 
tance. 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 401 

My note to Sefior Arrazola read thus : 

"Sir: The subject of suppressing the inhuman African 
slave-trade has been one of deep anxiety to the government 
of the United States from the time of its foundation. The 
United States have been among the first nations, if not the 
first, that have denounced the traffic in human beings as piracy, 
and have visited their own citizens implicated in it with the 
severest penalties. At very heavy pecuniary sacrifices and 
at the risk of the lives of their own naval officers and seamen, 
they have for more than twenty years supported a squadron 
on the western coast of Africa in a most destructive climate 
in order to prevent the successful carrying on of this nefar- 
ious trade. 

"They have with a like view entered into stipulations 
with the government of Her Britannic Majesty in the year 
1842, contained in what is called the Treaty of Washington, 
the ninth article of which is as follows: 

[Here follows the article entire.] 

"The attention of the President of the United States has 
lately been directed to certain difficulties which have presented 
themselves and which would appear to prevent a complete 
suppression of the slave-trade in the colonial possessions of 
Her Catholic Majesty, and more particularly in the Island of 
Cuba, which difficulties do not arise from any desire of the 
Spanish colonial authorities to favor the said trade. It is 
well known that the efforts made by the captain-general of 
that island correspond entirely to the wise and humane policy 
which the Home Government of Her Catholic Majesty has 
adopted with regard to the subject in question and which is 
thoroughly appreciated by the President and the people of 
the United States. The difficulties spoken of seem to be inher- 
ent in the laws and regulations in existence, which are sup- 
posed to give room to interpretations by which their force 
can be evaded. 

"In view of the general policy of the United States, 
which looks on the African slave-trade as an offence against 
the public law of nations and has denounced it as piracy; in 
view also of the treaty stipulations existing between them and 
the government of Her Britannic Majesty, the President of the 
United States has instructed me to respectfully call the atten- 
tion of Her Catholic Majesty's Government to this matter and 
to suggest such a revision of the existing laws and regulations 
concerning the unlawful introduction of slaves into the Island 



402 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

of Cuba as will best accomplish the object which Her Majes- 
ty's government had in view when the laws and regulations 
were enacted. 

"It is hardly necessary for the undersigned to assure 
Your Excellency that these suggestions arise from the purest 
motives and would not have been made unless the President 
had considered the very friendly and cordial relations exist- 
ing between the United States and Spain as justifying this 
application, and had he not been bound to another friendly 
nation to engagements which it was his duty, as well as his 
pleasure, to carry out faithfully. 

"It is also unnecessary for me to inform Your Excel- 
lency that it would afford the utmost pleasure to the Presi- 
dent and the people of the United States if any obstacles 
existing in the Island of Cuba to the complete suppression of 
the African slave trade should be removed by the considerate 
action of the government of Her Catholic Majesty. 

"The undersigned takes great pleasure to assure etc., etc. 

* ' Gustave Koerner. 
"His Excellency D. L. Arrazola, 
"Minister of State." 

In the first place, Mr. Seward, to whom I had reported 
this note under date of February 28th, 1864, says : 

"Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your despatch of February 28th and to inform you that the 
manner in which you have executed my instructions to com- 
municate with Her Catholic Majesty's government concerning 
the slave-trade in Cuba is entirely approved. ' ' 

On the 6th of March, I could write to Mr. Seward: 

"Sir John Cramp ton expressed himself as very much 
obliged for the note which under your instructions I addressed 
to the minister of Spain on the slave-trade in Cuba. He sent 
a copy to Lord Russell." 

Not long afterwards Sir John called upon me and said 
that he had just received a despatch from Lord Russell in 
which he had directed him to express to the minister of the 
United States at Madrid, the great satisfaction with which 
he had read that officer's note to the Spanish government 
regarding the African slave-trade. Sir John added that he 
felt great pleasure in making this communication to me. 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 403 

SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE 

The reason I have mentioned this business so particu- 
larly is that it gave me the opportunity of making the acquain- 
tance of one of the most interesting persons of the period. 
Some months afterwards I was called upon by Sir Moses Mon- 
tefiore, the celebrated champion of the Jewish cause in every 
country and clime, and a general philanthropist, who spent 
almost his whole time and a great deal of his fortune in pro- 
tecting the oppressed and advancing the cause of humanity 
generally. He had just returned from Morocco where he 
had succeeded in setting at liberty a number of his co-relig- 
ionists who had been terribly persecuted by some of the Pashas. 
Though then eighty years of age, he appeared to be no more 
than sixty, and his very noble face looked beautiful under 
his silver locks. He was of very commanding stature, and he 
would have been the finest model for some Michael Angelo of 
an Old Testament patriarch. His manners were polished, 
but unaffected, as was natural for one who stood high at the 
English court, had visited the Sultan, the Khedive, the Czar 
of Russia, and perhaps many other potentates in the endeavor 
to alleviate the condition of oppressed Israelites. He said 
he could not leave Madrid without calling on me, that he had 
read Lord Russell's and my correspondence with the Spanish 
government and with the English legation, and he wished to 
give me his thanks for what I had written. Two years ago, 
I believe, his hundredth birthday was celebrated, I may say, 
all over the world. He died, I believe, in 1888. 

THE SPANISH-PERUVIAN DIFFICULTY 

In reply to my application for leave of absence, Mr. 
Seward informed me under date of April 8th that the Presi- 
dent was disinclined to grant me the desired leave of absence, 
and would ask me to reconsider my application, and, if at 
all compatible with my private interests, to withdraw it. 

The hesitation of Mr. Lincoln, or I should say rather Mr. 
Seward, arose from the idea that I could be very effective in 



404 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

preventing Spain and Peru from drifting into a war. Mr. 
Seward wrote that if I could crown my mission by accom- 
plishing this object I should have deserved well of my coun- 
try. I had actually succeeded in getting the Spanish gov- 
ernment to agree upon conditions for compromising the diffi- 
culty, agreeable to both parties, when the Spanish Admiral 
Pincon took possession without instructions of a number of 
Peruvian guano islands, wherefore Peru made all further ne- 
gotiations dependent upon the recall of Pincon and the imme- 
diate surrender of the islands. As Spain at once disclaimed 
the act of the Admiral by circular-notes to all the great powers, 
matters, even then, could have been settled, and I found Mr. 
Pacheco willing to discuss the methods of doing so, when 
another untoward incident spoiled our negotiations. Senor 
Salazar y Maceredo, who had been sent by the Arrazola gov- 
ernment as a special envoy to Peru in the first instance, was 
an obstinate, hot-headed, high-tempered man, who, as the 
present minister of state confidentially informed me, ought 
never to have been sent on such a mission, and he had, on his 
arrival, adopted offensive and threatening language. The 
Peruvian government declining on that account to treat with 
him, particularly after the outrage committed by Pincon, 
who had acted under his orders, he, not waiting for instruc- 
tions from home, concluded to return to Spain. Arriving at 
Panama, a mob set upon him, and he had to take refuge at 
the French consulate, which was also threatened by the mob. 
According to his telegraphic report to the government, Peru- 
vians had been on board of the English steamer which brought 
him from Callao to Panama. He had been threatened, he 
alleged, with assassination, and these Peruvians had set the 
mob in motion at Panama. He claimed his government should 
hold the Peruvian government responsible. 

Some time afterwards he came to Madrid and gave a great 
ado. He was a man of distinction with great influence, a 
radical Moderado, and frightened the government. In spite 



DIPLOMATIC LIFE AT MADRID 405 

of what I could do the ministry demanded of Peru a disavowal 
of the acts of violence perpetrated upon its minister. 

Mr. Moira, the Peruvian consul at Madrid, had been 
instructed to say that the Peruvian government did, of course, 
disavow any complicity in the Panama mob, and I brought this 
to the notice of Mr. Pacheco; also that they would receive 
a special envoy to settle the Talambo trouble, but not before 
Spain had surrendered the islands. I thought this but reason- 
able, and proposed by way of compromise that the surrender 
of the islands and the acceptance of a new commissioner 
should take place simultaneously. Mr. Pacheco thought that 
might do, but the Queen and the rest of the ministry over- 
ruled him. I was then given to understand that, at present, 
neither the mediation nor even the good offices that had been 
offered by us, and also by England, could be accepted, as 
Spanish honor forbade it. Peru, to be sure, had also in sev- 
eral instances shown herself to be imprudent, and had given 
just cause of offense to Spain. But the matter is too compli- 
cated to be explained here. Only the original cause of the 
trouble may be stated. Some considerable time before a Span- 
ish settlement at Talambo, without any provocation, had been 
mobbed by Peruvians, some Spaniards killed and wounded, 
the rest driven away. Spain demanded punishment of the 
offenders and indemnity for the sufferers. The Peruvian 
government was somewhat slow in instituting proceedings and 
the trial dragged along, as the Peruvians contended, owing to 
the great number of the culprits. It was then that Admiral 
Pincon appeared with a man-of-war demanding in rather men- 
acing terms a speedier prosecution. The Peruvians replied 
that they had no right to interfere with their courts, etc. So 
much was certain, that as far as the action of the United 
States was concerned, it was completely paralyzed by these 
recent events, and my presence on account of the Peruvian 
difficulties was certainly not of much importance. It did not 
come to actual fighting, though all negotiations were broken 
off. 



406 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

But early in 1865 Spain sent a large fleet to Peruvian 
waters. Callao was threatened with bombardment, an ulti- 
matum was presented and a treaty paid by which the guano 
islands were restored to Peru and the latter country paid 
three millions of dollars as a war contribution. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

Last Days in Spain 

In a letter to Mr. Lincoln himself, I again presented the 
reasons for my desire to leave for a few months and also 
my opinion of the Peruvian matter, giving him, further a 
view of the then very complicated affairs of Europe, the Pol- 
ish Revolution, the German-Danish War, and the entangle- 
ment of Napoleon in Mexico. I said I felt sure that all idea 
of an intervention now by any European power in our Civil 
War was out of the question, and that Spain, at least, would, 
at present, not be induced by any blandishment offered her 
to recognize the Confederate States, as she was bitterly opposed 
to seeing Mexico under the tutelage of France. 

Not receiving any definite answer to my request for leave 
of absence, I wrote to Mr. Seward that, if I had any fears 
that my absence would prove detrimental to the interests of 
our country, I should be willing to undergo almost any loss 
and inconvenience and should then be willing to comply with 
the desire of the President to withdraw my application ; but 
I was satisfied that nothing of importance was depending 
upon my remaining in Madrid during the hot summer months 
when the court and the ministers were in the mountains and 
the chiefs of legation in northern Europe; and that if the 
President should insist on my staying, I should have to ask 
leave to be relieved of my mission. Some time in May, Mr. 
Seward informed me that I should delay my departure to as 
late a period as possible, which, of course, implied the grant- 
ing of the leave. 

The letter of Mr. Seward is so significant of the kind- 



408 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

heartedness of Mr. Lincoln that I cannot refrain from giving 
some extracts from it: 

"The President directs me to say that he has received a 
communication from you in which you reinforce your request 
for leave of absence from Madrid during the summer, and that 
it causes him great perplexity and regret. He especially de- 
sires to grant any reasonable request that you may make. [Mr. 
Seward then gives some reasons which he thought would make 
my further presence in Madrid very desirable.] The Presi- 
dent then asks you to weigh these considerations against 
motives which urge you to ask a leave of absence, and, if possi- 
ble, to relieve him from the necessity of conceding it to you on 
the ground of personal kindness, a request that, as he thinks, 
conflicts with the public safety and welfare. If you still insist, 
he then desires that you shall fix as late a day as possible for 
leaving Spain." 

POLITICAL SITUATION IN AMERICA 

In the meantime, I received many letters from home re- 
garding the Presidential election. To my surprise I found that 
great opposition had developed to the renomination of Mr. 
Lincoln. My most intimate friends, while still determined to 
support Mr. Lincoln, did so very reluctantly. They thought 
him too conservative, and particularly so with regard to plac- 
ing Missouri in the hands of ultra-conservative men, thus 
retarding the abolition of slavery, which the Union men were 
ready and willing to abolish by a State Convention. But the 
opposition to Mr. Lincoln early in 1864 was not confined to 
the Western States. The prospect of a very speedy ending 
of the war was not very bright. Attacks on Charleston and 
other seaports had been repulsed. An expedition by General 
Banks up the Red River, supported by a fleet, had been re- 
pulsed, and an army corps under General Steele, which was 
to unite with Banks, had, in consequence, to beat a hasty re- 
treat to Little Rock, as Banks was routed before the junction 
could be made. In this retreat a battle took place at Jenkins 's 
Ferry in which the brigade of our Adolph fought with great 
distinction, not only affording the army a safe crossing of 
the river, but beating the enemy back and taking some guns 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 409 

from him. Sherman had entered Georgia and there was con- 
stant fighting, but without any decisive results. Grant at 
the head of an immense army was about to march straight on 
Richmond. While a final triumph could reasonably be expect- 
ed, the people had so often been disappointed that some de- 
pression was natural. The great draft on our resources was 
severely felt. Volunteering had almost ceased. Draft upon 
draft had been ordered. Taxes had increased terribly, and 
our immense debt was rolling up. The war expense alone 
amounted to a million dollars a day. The draft had been very 
unpopular, and the anti-war Democrats made the greatest capi- 
tal out of it. They became every day more boisterous and 
really dangerous. But the most alarming sign was the dissat- 
isfaction of our own party. Among the higher officers who 
had been discarded by the President there were candidates 
for the Presidency, as there were also in his own cabinet. Mr. 
Arnold in his book ' ' Lincoln and Slavery, ' ' himself an ardent 
friend of Lincoln, admits that early in 1864 politicians and 
a majority of both Houses of Congress and the great leaders 
of the metropolitan press were not favorable to the reelection 
of Lincoln. But though away from home, I myself was fully 
satisfied that the great mass of the people were for him. They 
knew that his hands were pure, that he was perfectly honest 
in his opinions, and that while he was mild and indulgent 
to others even to a fault, he was as firm as a rock in sustaining 
the principles of union and liberty for which he had worked 
all his life. I used my best efforts in corresponding with 
friends at home to impress them with the necessity of standing 
by Mr. Lincoln. I could tell them that in Europe Lincoln 
was considered the only man who could pilot the ship of state 
safely through the raging storm; that he was looked upon 
there as the second Washington in his love of his country and 
purity of motives. 

What I most regretted was that so many Germans were 
found in opposition to him. They were most radical on the 
slavery question, and Lincoln was too slow for them. They 



410 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

were honest enough, but highly impractical idealists. A con- 
vention, held at Cleveland early in May, principally gotten 
up by some Germans in Illinois, Missouri and New York, (and 
on that account alone deprived of much influence,) nominated 
John C. Fremont for President, who accepted the nomination 
on a radical platform. 

Spring had set in and it was a lovely one. Copious show- 
ers had made everything fresh and green. Almond and peach 
trees were in full bloom early in March. We had concluded 
to leave early in July and so we made several excursions to 
places not visited before, as my family, at least, was not to 
return to Spain. I also needed some recreation; for I must 
say that during the last three months I had been really over- 
burdened with business. While usually notes are exchanged, 
and personal intercourse with the minister of state takes place 
once a week only, the Peruvian, the Santo Domingo, the mari- 
time boundary, and the Mexican questions, necessitated almost 
daily interviews with Senor Pacheco or Senor Mon, the prime 
minister. 

THE ESCURIAL 

We went to the Escurial, to which, through a very deso- 
late region of country, the railroad takes you in a little less 
than an hour. At the rugged granite foothills of the Guad- 
arrama Mountains stands a small hamlet, which, as many 
strangers come there, has several indifferent fondas, and right 
beneath this collection of straggling houses stands the colossal 
body of the ' ' Real Sitio de San Lorenzo, ' ' known by the name 
of the Escurial. The immensity of this granite pile would 
appear from merely giving its number of feet in length and 
width, of the height of its towers and the number of square 
feet of its interior enclosures. But that can be found in any 
guide-book. We wandered around for many hours in its clois- 
ters, corridors, chapels, domes and palaces. The great chapel 
with its grand cupola still contains many precious pictures, 
though the very best have been taken to Madrid. Splendid 
fresco paintings adorn the walls and cupola. It is a noble build- 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 411 

ing, the chapel mostly in the Dorian style. High above runs 
a gallery ending in a suite of small rooms where Philip II 
used to stay, and from which the King could attend the ser- 
vices of the church. In this gallery is a marble statue of Christ 
by Benvenuto Cellini, which is much praised, but which I 
could not admire. There is, however, by the same master 
a crucifix of most exquisite workmanship in one of the rooms. 
Immediately under the magnificent high altar is the Pan- 
theon, the burial place of the Spanish kings from Charles 
V to Ferdinand VII. The coffins of the dead are in hollow 
niches in the marble walls, the kings on one side and the 
queens on the other. There are separate niches for the infantes 
and the infantas. It is said that the corpse of Charles V, 
which was examined not long ago, was found perfectly pre- 
served. Standing in the middle of this gorgeous vault of mar- 
ble and gilded ornaments, one cannot but feel a certain interest 
in looking at the mouldering remains of such mighty rulers 
as Charles V and Philip II. 

The vast library rooms, the walls and the ceilings of 
which are painted al fresco by distinguished masters, with 
their rare books and manuscripts, most sumptuously illus- 
trated with miniature paintings, and the many excellent pic- 
tures which are hung in the library rooms, could rivet the atten- 
tion of lovers of books for weeks. Of course, we could only 
examine a few of the most precious treasures of these chapels, 
halls, and cloisters. A hallway leads to the royal palace, 
forming the southern part of the Escurial, with views into the 
grim plains towards Madrid. It was the summer residence 
of the Spanish kings of the Hapsburg house. We passed 
swiftly through a suite of rooms, in some of which we had to 
admire the exquisite Gobelins, woven after the paintings of 
the great masters. Just below the Escurial is another small 
but very elegant chateau, Casita del Principe, surrounded by 
a pretty park. It also contains a very pretty collection of 
paintings of varying merit. I thought some of them very 



412 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEBNER 

fine. The evening train from the north took us back to 
Madrid. 

No one should fail to visit this singular and eccentric yet 
grand monument erected by a gloomy, superstitious monarch, 
who, strange to say, was at the same time a lover, a judge and 
a generous patron of the fine arts. 

ARANJUEZ 

In May we went to Toledo. At Aranjuez we again vis- 
ited the two fine gardens, De la Isla and Del Principe. The 
first is near the palace, washed on one side by the Tajo, and 
bordered on the other by a wide canal, which separates it from 
the palace and the town. The river forms, just at the entrance 
into the garden, a very fine cascade by an artificial dam. This 
Garden de la Isla is the one which is the most generally vis- 
ited; it is almost crowded with statues, not of the best taste, 
and with fountains. It is not so large as the Garden del 
Principe, but of wonderous beauty. With the exception of 
the double avenues of gigantic sycamores, the other walks are 
all narrow. The trees, elms, beeches, horse-chestnuts, lindens 
and oaks are planted close together and so trained that their 
tops interlace. The trunks of these trees are so connected 
by their thick hedges from six to eight feet high that one can 
walk in a continuous arbor. When the heat in town is almost 
insupportable and you enter the gardens, you at once breathe 
a refreshing air. The leafy bowers and the thick hedges do 
not permit the sunbeams to steal in at any hour of the day. 
And from the river, the canal, the fountains, the innumerable 
rills of running water, the air in the whole park is most de- 
lightfully cooled. The Garden del Principe is much larger; 
it is more like an English park. The Tajo rushes through it. 
It is full of the finest forest trees. Near the end of it, how- 
ever, there are lawns and spacious terraces of flower-beds. 
Being tired, we lay down on the velvety grass under a large 
shade-tree, and I slept soundly for at least an hour, while the 
waters and the birds were singing and the delicate scent of 
flowers perfumed the air. 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 413 

Right in this part of the park stands the summer palace, 
called the Casa de Labrador. It is built in the rococo style, 
without taste, but contains, in workmanship of all kinds, tap- 
estries, inlaid doors and furniture, a richness and a luxury 
which has cost millions to the poor people and is yet almost 
useless. 

TOLEDO 

The train for Toledo left at eight o'clock in the evening. 
The road, a mere branch of the Madrid-Alicante road, was 
through a forlorn country after leaving the Eden of Aranjuez. 
The moon shone brightly, but nothing was to be seen until 
we came somewhat near Toledo, where a bold ridge of black 
hills became visible. In an hour or so we stopped at the sta- 
tion, which is about a mile from the city. 

There was but one omnibus there. It was already filled 
and had started off before we left our compartment, which 
was at the rear end of the train. A niozo was charged 
with our satchels, and we went up hill on a splendid road 
called the Paseo de las Rosas. We came to the Tajo, bounded 
on each side by high rocks. On the opposite side loomed up 
a chaotic mass of walls, turrets, towers and rocks, so inter- 
mingled as to leave the impression of cyclopic ruins. You 
could not tell which was rock, and which was wall. We 
could hear the rushing of the river deep below, breaking 
through steep rocks. It is spanned by the celebrated massive 
bridge of Alcantara, each side of which is protected by a forti- 
fied gate. We crossed it. A terribly steep road leads up 
through high walls and large buildings into a street about 
twenty feet wide, at the end of which we issued upon a small 
square called Zocodover, the only large open place in the city, 
from which through a labyrinth of narrow alleys paved with 
small pointed boulders we at last reached the Fonda de Lindo, 
to which we had been recommended, a real parador, no better 
than can be found in any village in the Sierra Morena. 

In the glare of the moon Toledo appeared to us at first 
view like a vision from Dante's Inferno. Our rooms were 



414 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

miserable, but the beds comfortable and the linen snowy white. 
We refreshed ourselves with chocolate and ices and cakes, 
which the landlord sent for from a neighboring confectionery 
shop. Early next morning we took a guide and armed with 
Ford's Hand-book of Spain, we set out to explore this most 
antique and unique city, as yet untouched by modern civili- 
zation. 

In my "Aus Spanien," I have made a feeble effort to 
describe some of the most memorable sights in Toledo. I will 
now barely refer to some of them. The chapel of San Juan 
de los Reyos is considered one of the finest remains of the later 
Gothic style. Originally it was designed as the burial grounds 
of the Spanish kings and built by Ferdinand and Isabella. A 
Franciscan convent joined the ' ' capella real, ' ' partly destroyed 
by the French, but there are some cloisters left of the most 
delicate workmanship. From there we were shown through 
several churches, some of them having been Moorish mosques 
or Jewish synagogues. 

In the afternoon the cathedral was visited. It was not so 
large as that of Seville or Granada, but if one looks at the 
wonders it contains in detail, one is almost stupefied and must 
confess never having seen such splendor and magnificence. 
Every one of the side chapels shows precious treasures. The 
cathedral was founded by San Fernando, in the year 1226, and 
it is said that the structure took several centuries to build by 
one hundred and forty-nine architects. The different portals 
are masterpieces of art. The doors of bronze are finely chiseled. 
A half dozen of the older kings of Spain have here highly 
decorated tombs. Besides, there are tombs of many of the 
greatest bishops and statesmen. In numerous chambers are the 
treasures of the church, chalices, etc., and in one salon are 
innumerable relics of saints, all enclosed in silver and gold 
vessels, inlaid with jewelry. Before this reliquarium stands a 
small figure of the Virgin. This Virgin is the object of the 
greatest veneration, as it has worked innumerable miracles. 
Her everyday clothes glitter with precious stones, pearls, and 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 415 

gold spangles. But we were shown in beautifully worked cases 
a number of her holiday dresses and ornaments, such as golden 
crowns, bracelets, and a cloak studded with the biggest pearls 
and the choicest of precious stones. This cloak alone is said 
to be of fabulous value. Add to this that at the high altar, 
at the altars in the chapels, in the capitulary salons, and in 
the reliquarium, are paintings of Rubens, Alonzo Cano, Bell- 
ini, Bassano, Orrente, El Greco, Cartuchio, add the choir for 
the canons of the church, which is admitted to be the largest 
and finest even in Spain, and one may get a faint idea of this 
wonderful cathedral. 

On the highest point of this mountainous city rises majes- 
tically the Alcazar of Charles V. He had grand ideas, this 
singular emperor. Whatever he touched here in Spain bears 
the stamp of greatness. He had a strong individuality. Every 
portrait that I have seen of him, and there are many in Madrid, 
particularly two splendid ones by Titian, resemble one another 
closely. His cold eyes show prudence, but no soul. The lower 
part of his face is "Burgundian," disagreeably prominent, 
sensuous, betraying gluttony. And yet there is a nobility 
mixed with melancholy in his features. He stands easily and 
gracefully, and yet there is nothing showing the warrior about 
him. He was not a battle-hero. He owed his successes, and 
they were, after all, for a born monarch of such empires not 
very great, more to foresight and cunning than to his mili- 
tary talents, more to his toughness and to his perseverance than 
to his boldness. He was a poor, vexed, suffering man, always 
more or less sick ; and, if ever well, his high living and gluttony 
took him down again. The archives of Simancas contain the 
records of the medical treatment he underwent during his 
residence in the convent of San Juste. It was a genuine 
Spanish one ; for they show several hundred blood-lettings. 
How little enviable was the lot of this most powerful ruler 
of the world! Even the ephemeral empires of Napoleon or 
of Alexander or the rule of Rome at her grandest epoch cannot 
be compared in extent to his dominions. 



416 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

This Alcazar is now in ruin. The foundation, one would 
think, is big enough to place the whole city upon it. The base- 
ment and the subterranean stables, large enough to lodge a 
thousand horses, are still standing. It was at the same time 
a strong fortress. The prospect from the height is most re- 
markably beautiful, if we can call beautiful the view of a 
half ruined city of Roman, Gothic, Moorish, Jewish and Cas- 
tilian houses which climb up and down on steep hills, and of 
a yellow boiling river forcing itself through wild gorges of 
mountain-ranges of the sharpest and most jagged forms, upon 
which now and then nothing but a pale, sickly olive, but no 
other tree, bush, or blade of grass, is to be seen. 

But we had to tear ourselves away from this unique spot. 
An omnibus took us down the steep declivity at such a furious 
rate, that we thanked our stars for having reached the station 
with unbroken limbs. 

WAR NEWS 

The news from the seat of war was not encouraging. The 
campaign in Virginia had opened in March. General Grant 
had pledged himself to carry Richmond on a straight line, "if 
it took all summer ; ' ' but after fighting four or five most bloody 
battles with an immense loss of men, the army was defeated 
at Cold Harbor with a terrible sacrifice of life and had to pass 
by Richmond, seeking the same position south of the James 
River which McClellan had taken and had thought to be the 
most advantageous for the taking of the place. If Grant had 
not constantly been supplied with reinforcements, he would 
certainly have had to retreat. Nevertheless, Mr. Lincoln was 
renominated for the Presidency by the Republican party, and 
the determination of the Union people to prosecute the war at 
any price of blood and treasure remained as firm as ever. 

EUROPEAN POLITICS 

The Polish Revolution, the national awakening in Ger- 
many on account of the war with Denmark, and above all, the 
recent events in Italy had created great excitement all over 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 417 

Europe, and Spain could not remain unaffected. The govern- 
ment was very much reproached for not acknowledging the 
new Italian kingdom, which had been recognized by all the 
other powers. The Progresista and the Democratic parties 
developed much strength, and acted with very much spirit. 
I reported to Mr. Seward on the 9th of May as follows : 

' ' There has been for some days past considerable political 
excitement here, produced by party demonstrations, not under- 
taken, however, with apparently any view of having present 
and immediate effect. The national festival of the Dos de 
Mayo was made the occasion of a very large procession of 
the Progresista party, headed by their principal leadens, 
Olozaga, Prim, Madoz and others, which marched in a body 
several thousand strong in the general procession. 

"In the evening some members of the Democratic party, 
from one thousand to three thousand persons, (the numbers 
being differently stated by the friends and opponents of the 
party,) marched to the monument where the ashes of the mar- 
tyrs of the 2d of May rest, to decorate it with floral wreaths. 
On the following day the Progresistas met at a great banquet 
in which deputations of the party from every part of Spain 
participated. Twenty-five hundred sat down at the table (in 
the Elysian Fields), and many speeches were made, all of 
course in opposition to the present government, though there 
was not anything exactly revolutionary in the proceedings. 
All the provinces and colonies of Spain were represented in 
the banqueting hall by their banners, except Santo Domingo. 

' ' On the 5th of May again there was an immense funeral 
procession to convey the remains of Munoz Terrero, an ancient 
member of the Cadiz Cortes, who died an exile in Portugal 
in 1829, to a vault in one of the cemeteries of Madrid. The 
procession consisted of the Democrats and Progresistas, the 
students of Madrid marching with the former party. For 
hours the principal streets of Madrid were so taken up with 
the procession and the enormous crowd of spectators that cir- 
culation, by carriages at least, was entirely stopped. 

' ' It will not be without interest when I observe that during 
all these demonstrations, when about all the population was 
turned into the streets, not the slightest disturbance took 
place. No single arrest was made as would appear from the 
reports in the papers. In fact, I have nowhere seen more 
orderly and better behaved crowds than in Madrid. I presume 



418 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

the government had taken good precaution to put down any 
disorder; but certainly nothing of the kind was manifest on 
the surface. That these public demonstrations showing such 
a large force of the Liberals and even the Radicals, as the 
Democrats are here called by the government party, will be 
of some effect hereafter, I cannot doubt. It may not bring 
these parties into power, but it will turn the policy of the 
reactionary and moderate parties into more liberal channels 
by showing the hold which the opposition has on the affec- 
tions of the people." 

In the same despatch I also remarked: 

"The complications in Europe are on the increase. The 
London Conference seems to add fuel to the flames. I think 
that our country was never in less danger of being interfered 
with than at present. All our efforts may now be concentrated 
on the one single object, the suppression of the rebellion." 

On the llth of July I had to report another incident, 
manifesting the feeling of uneasiness on the part of the author- 
ities regarding the prevailing spirit of opposition to the exist- 
ing government. 

' ' The government, ' ' I wrote, ' ' seems to be much alarmed. 
Last Wednesday night at 11 o'clock, the principal guard of 
the city, at the Puerta del Sol, was increased by not less than 
two hundred troops. Messengers called all the officers from 
their clubs, coffee-houses and the theatres to their barracks, 
and the soldiers were kept on the qui vive for several hours. 
These measures created some excitement in the streets, prom- 
enades and cafes, which here in Madrid about midnight are 
generally as crowded as Broadway about noon. But I saw 
no disorder, only people wondering what it all meant. The 
captain-general of New Castle, who ordered the troops out, 
it is now alleged, was trifled with by some false denunciation, 
and he has offered to resign, but his resignation will not be 
accepted. 

' ' There was a rumor that in one of the barracks a battal- 
ion was ready to join an insurrection, but that at the decisive 
moment the officers who were in the conspiracy lost courage, 
and so the contemplated outbreak failed. If there was such 
a move the governor succeeding in keeping it a profound 
secret." 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 419 

DEPARTURE FROM MADRID 

According to our preconceived plan Sophie and Augusta 
left Madrid on the first of July for Germany. The Peruvian 
business and the winding up of our household affairs kept me 
until the 20th of July. My family, at all events, was not to 
return. My return might be possible, though I intended to 
ask Mr. Lincoln to change me to some other mission, if he 
wanted me to remain in the diplomatic service at all. Sophie 
and Augusta went directly to Frankfort by way of Paris, and 
they wrote me that they had a very pleasant and easy journey. 

The last few days I spent in paying farewell visits and 
in having all our things, comprising carpets, pictures and some 
of our furniture, packed and forwarded to New York by way 
of Cadiz. I had, of course, taken leave of Gen. Gaertner and 
his wife Olympia; but when I arrived at the station in the 
evening, there was my friend Gaertner again, to see me off. 
Although I held out the hope of seeing him again in Madrid, 
he was deeply moved, and big tears rolled from his eyes when 
I pressed his hand again from the car-window. 

I must say that Francisco and Thomas who had seen my 
trunks to the depot and also stood in the waiting-room, looked 
very sorrowful and came very near crying too. The little 
lackey also sobbed, when I, for the first time shook hands with 
him. Servants in Spain, I believe, when well treated, have 
far more attachment for their masters than anywhere else. 
The little lackey had been a very necessary appendage; for 
whenever Augusta and Paula left the carriage and were not 
accompanied by Sophie or myself, he had to follow them 
closely, even in the Royal Gardens. It was quite amusing to 
see two American girls, who would not have been afraid to 
travel alone around the world, guarded by a little boy about 
fifteen years old, four feet high, in a livery coat, white leather 
breeches, top boots and a stiff leather hat with a big cockade. 
No young ladies of the better class are allowed to walk the 
streets in Madrid unless accompanied by an elderly married 
lady or a servant. As we were in Rome, we had to do as the 



420 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Romans do. In my compartment I had two companions, 
English gentlemen returning from a continental tour. They 
were tired and fell asleep. 

JUDGMENT OP THE SPANISH NATIONAL CHARACTER 

Alone with my thoughts, I found that, after all, my leav- 
ing Spain was not without causing me considerable regret. 
There is some great charm, not only in its scenery but also 
in its people. According to our American common-school his- 
tories and geographies, Spain is a worn-out and effete country, 
without much industry or much commerce, abounding in wild 
mountain scenery, old cathedrals and innumerable convents. 
The people are priest-ridden, indolent and cruel, and their 
sole occupation is to attend bull-fights and to dance the bolero. 
The only redeeming qualities are the black eyes and small feet 
of the senoritas. 

This might have been partially correct during the last 
century, but it is ridiculously untrue when applied to Spain 
since the French invasion in 1808. Whoever has studied the 
national character of the Spanish will be slow to believe that 
the people have ever become so degraded and worn-out and 
useless as they have been generally represented to the English 
and the American mind. There is a great diversity of feeling, 
sentiment, talent, manners and customs in the Peninsula, as 
may be expected from its history. There is more difference 
between the Catalonian, the Yankee of Spain, and the Anda- 
lusian in Oadiz and Malaga, than there is between the New 
Englander and the planter of Louisiana. Yet one thing is 
certain ; the Spaniard everywhere is of quick wit and of quick 
speech; he excels in keen repartee; he is a born orator, and 
there is in the mass of people a fund of good, sound common 
sense and a horror of humbug which is truly surprising. To 
be sure, one finds in the higher circles much unsound senti- 
ment, a sort of flightiness of spirit, an indulgence in idle fan- 
cies, and a craving for what is unattainable, which often shows 
itself in what we call bombast and rodomontade. But, taking 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 421 

the great mass of the people, this is only an exceptional phase 
of the Spanish character. Still, it is very apt to impress the 
foreigner, as it shows itself principally in the higher spheres 
of society, and gives one the idea that it is the true type of 
the national mind. 

That greatest painter of Spanish life, Cervantes, in giving 
us the chivalrous "Don Quixote" and the commonplace 
"Sancho Panza," the idealistic starving "Rosinante" of the 
knight of the sorrowful figure, and the well-fed donkey of the 
jolly, fat squire, has embodied the sum and substance of the 
great national traits of his countrymen. That such a por- 
traiture was the object of the great master in writing his ini- 
mitable and immortal work, can hardly admit of a doubt. 

That the Spaniard is not worn out, he has proved by a 
seven years' sanguinary struggle against foreign invasion. 
To sustain a contest against such odds as the first Napoleon, 
his best generals and his best armies offered, required intense 
nationality, (and no people have more of this than the Span- 
iards,) individual self-reliance, personal courage, impulsive 
feeling, not obliterated by selfish and cool reflection, and last, 
but not least, a sturdy physical force. All these qualities the 
Spaniards showed in an eminent degree, and no people posess- 
ing them can really be said to have declined. Their communal 
institutions, having educated the people to self-government 
undoubtedly helped immensely in this emergency. When their 
national government had been driven to the extremity of the 
country and held its sessions at Cadiz under the fire of the 
enemy's cannon, each city, each town, each hamlet, became a 
law unto itself, with its provisional government (junta), and 
fed the flame of war in every section of the country. 

POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY OF SPAIN 

Ever since the death of Ferdinand VII, Spain has had a 
constitution more or less liberal, and a strictly parliamentary 
government. While the King or Queen is not responsible, the 
ministers are. They retire the moment they lose the majority 



422 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

in either the senate or the lower house, the Cortes. The elec- 
tors are numerous, because every citizen of age, paying taxes 
to the amount of not less than twenty dollars, is entitled to 
vote and to be voted for. Prior to the election, public meet- 
ings are allowed to discuss the merits of the candidates. Other- 
wise, the right to meet in the open air is much hampered and 
dependent upon the previous permission of the police. Yet 
the parties have found means to obviate these restrictions. 
National celebrations, funerals, large political dinners and 
other entertainments, serenades to distinguished leaders, which 
are of very frequent occurrence and suit the national spirit 
admirably, furnish opportunities for great demonstrations and 
much eloquent and patriotic speaking. 

THE PRESS IN SPAIN 

The laws of the press are, in point of theory, severe. 
There is no censorship before publication. But the attorney 
of the state has to be furnished, some hours before the papers 
are mailed or sold in the streets, with a copy of the edition, 
and, if he finds an article which he thinks inadmissible, he 
can order a seizure of the whole edition as a preliminary step. 
He must then institute a legal proceeding before a court 
against the proprietor of the journal, where the seizure is 
either sustained or pronounced illegal. The proprietor must 
deposit in every instance before he can commence publishing 
a newspaper, a sum of money varying from $2,000 to $6,000 
according to the place where his paper is published, to satisfy 
the fines imposed for offenses of which he may be convicted. 

All this looks very serious indeed. But the journalists 
have a very shrewd presentiment of what will invoke the ire 
of the prosecuting attorney. They strike off a few copies before 
they send in the paper for examination. If the paper is seized, 
they leave out the objectionable article and go to press with 
the rest, leaving either a blank space or filling this up with 
large letters announcing the seizure of the first edition, or 
inserting some paragraph of the constitution guaranteeing 
liberty of the press, or some ridiculous advertisement. 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 423 

"When in 1864, Don Calvo Ascencio, the proprietor and 
editor of the chief organ of the Progresista party, the" Iberia," 
died, he was indebted to the government for fines to the amount 
of $10,000. Within a very short time after his death the lead- 
ing members of the party subscribed the whole amount of the 
fines. But they were not fast enough for the government. 
Before the fines were paid the minister of the interior informed 
the widow of the deceased in the most gracious terms that the 
Queen had been pleased to remit all dues to the relict and 
family of Senor Ascencio in consideration of his distinguished 
talents, which had made him a literary ornament of Spain. 
The party then proposed to donate the amount subscribed to 
the family; but the widow declined taking the gift, alleging 
that by the mental toil and labor of her patriotic husband a 
competency had been secured for her to live on, and that his 
name and reputation and the grateful remembrance of the 
country were to her a greater treasure that it was in the power 
of any party to bestow. 

Speaking of the death of this journalist we may remark 
that his funeral was made the occasion for a monster demon- 
stration on the part of the Progresista party. It was said that 
in addition to innumerable coaches, there marched in the cor- 
tege more than forty thousand members of the party. That 
there were as many more spectators lining the streets is beyond 
question. For the whole afternoon there was no possibility 
of crossing in a carriage from the north to the south side of 
the city without driving miles around, as the procession and 
the spectators formed a dense mass through the main streets 
and avenues of Madrid, and as the procession was not allowed 
to be broken. Some fiery Progresistas proposed to stop at the 
Plaza Mayor and to deliver addresses. This would have been 
against the law, as that would have constituted a public meet- 
ing without permission. It might have produced a collision. 
Gen. Prim, however, succeeded in persuading the procession 
to go on. The Queen had sent a deputation to the cortege, 
and some of the ministers also participated in the ceremonies. 



424 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

The opposition of the ministry displayed an equal tact and 
a nice sense of honor and of chivalry in everything connected 
with the death of Senor Ascencio. 

It would be very hard to find a parallel of noble sentiment 
such as Ascencio 's widow displayed in our country, where gift- 
taking by public men, even by Presidents and their widows, 
unfortunately abounds. 

Substantially the press is free. While towards private 
individuals there is always a courtesy and a delicacy shown 
which in other countries is sorely missed, ministers and other 
public functionaries and even royalty itself are exposed to 
the most severe and cutting attacks. Certain it is that our 
public men would wince under the incessant sarcasm, denunci- 
ations, maledictions and imprecations which are daily show- 
ered on the ministers and the favorites of the court. In verse 
and in prose they are persecuted day and night. Priests, too, 
furnish a most shining mark for the pellets of the Liberal 
press. 

Of the activity of the press in the cities at least of Spain 
no one can have an idea who has not been a personal observer. 
There are published in Madrid alone daily five official govern- 
ment-papers containing laws passed by the legislature, the 
full debates of the two chambers, the decrees, ordinances and 
orders of the ministerial departments, the appointments, the 
proceedings of the courts, the exchange, public advertisements, 
and the like. There are in the same city thirty political jour- 
nals representing the different parties published every day, 
and four weekly and semi-monthly. Of political journals, the 
"Espana," the "Clamor Publico," the "Diario Epanol," the 
' ' Contemporaneo, ' ' the ' ' Nacion, ' ' the ' ' Democratia, ' ' and the 
"Discussion," appear in two editions daily; the "Correspon- 
dencia," and the "Noticeas" in three, and the "Novedades" 
and the ' ' Iberia ' ' in four editions. 

Of the ' ' Correspondent, ' ' which belongs by turn to each 
successive ministry, but gives an immense amount of news, 
there are sold sometimes as many as twenty thousand copies 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 425 

a day, and, when the last edition is distributed often as late 
as ten or eleven o'clock at night by the newsboys and news- 
girls, who rush out to the most public places with the most 
frantic cries, there is such a tumultuous throng of people 
trying to get hold of the wet sheets that a stranger would think 
that a tremendous riot was springing up. The ante-rooms and 
the corridors of the theatres and circuses are soon filled with 
the juvenile band and almost every spectator is immediately 
furnished with his paper. Immense numbers are sold in all 
the coffee-houses and other evening resorts. The fact is, the 
Spaniards are all, in the cities at least, inveterate politicians. 
Besides the political newspapers there are printed and pub- 
lished in Madrid no less than ninety-three literary and scien- 
tific periodicals, appearing weekly, semi-monthly, monthly and 
quarterly, and some, one might say, serni-occasionally, the 
satirical papers, for instance, "El Mosquito," and "El Es- 
corpion," the names of which sufficiently indicate their ten- 
dency. 

SPANISH SOCIAL CONDITIONS 

The landed property of the clergy has been turned over 
to the State. There are a few nunneries left, most of which 
are connected with seminaries for young ladies. All convents 
for monks have long since been abolished. The clergy are 
paid by the State, and free schools are everywhere established, 
though the teachers are sorely underpaid. 

The country people are not indolent, but labor very 
hard. Dwelling, like most people of the Latin race, in towns 
and villages, they have often great distances to travel to their 
fields, which they cultivate with poor instruments, but very 
carefully. No finer wheat or barley is raised in the world 
than in Old and New Castile, no better Indian corn than in the 
Vegas of Valencia, Barcelona, and, generally, in the river 
bottoms. As a rule all Spaniards are frugal. I have never 
seen a drunken man in Spain. Of course there are haunts in 
the suburbs of Madrid and other large cities where the peasant- 
ry, men and women, after they have sold their poultry, eggs, 



426 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

milk, and vegetables, at the market places, congregate on their 
way home and where the native liquor aguardiente may make 
people boisterous and drunk ; but nothing of this is seen in the 
city proper. There may be a great deal of vice in Madrid, but 
nothing of it is to be seen on the streets, neither by day nor 
at night. Not even the demi-monde is permitted to drive in 
the Prado or any other promenade. 

The higher classes have, of course, the vices of their equals 
in other large cities of Europe, and gambling, it must be admit- 
ted, is the besetting sin of all Spaniards. What is most laudable 
in the Spanish character, I mean in the middle and lower 
classes of the people, is the absence of all servility. I have 
often thought of what I once observed at Aranjuez, and it was 
but one instance of the trait to which I have alluded. There 
had been a Besamanos at the court in honor of the birthday 
of the Queen's mother, Christina. We had stood nearly three 
hours in the throne-hall and had looked at the tiresome cere- 
mony of handkissing. At last we were relieved. As the train 
to Madrid did not leave until some time afterward, we went to 
the gardens and sought some of the marble benches on 
which to rest. We were all in full uniform ; so were the court 
people. Making use of the extra train which took us out on 
this occasion, many ladies, mostly young, of the haute volee 
of Madrid, had come along in their airy and elegant summer- 
dresses, their round Russian straw hats and tiny walking- 
canes. The people also camJe in, for in Spain all classes com- 
mingle. The peasantry, male and female, from the neighbor- 
hood in their picturesque national costumes, the soldiers of the 
garrison and many of the town's people filled the shady ave- 
nues. On one of the garden benches sat duchesses and countesses 
chatting with diplomats and officers standing before them, and 
girls from the country talking the same way to their friends. 
I closely watched a group in the midst of an open place, in 
the midst of which stood a fountain and around which were 
about a dozen long marble benches, one of which was occupied 
by some of the chiefs of legation. The adjoining one was filled 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 427 

half with Madrid ladies of the highest rank and half with 
peasant girls and Spanish private soldiers. On the rim of the 
basin of the fountain women of the lower classes had seated 
themselves, and some of them from time to time, laying them- 
selves flat on the ground, sipped the water out of the basin in 
the most primitive manner. Children played around all un- 
concerned, and private soldiers and women and girls of the 
people did not show the least embarrassment in the midst of 
generals and ambassadors. After having made the military 
salute to their officers, they felt perfectly at ease and behaved 
like gentlemen. In what other country are the poorer and 
less educated classes so free and so proud ? Every one of these 
soldiers or peasants, if there is an occasion for it, speaks en- 
tirely unembarrassed with a duke or duchess, and, it is said, 
with the Queen, and I believe it. And the Queen and the 
duchess will address them as kindly and as politely as they 
will their equals. However corrupt some of the higher classes 
may be, the real people, the marrow of the country, are good, 
and better, I believe, than most other people of my knowledge. 
This individuality, sense of independence, coupled with an 
intense national pride, will at all times secure to the Spanish 
people a certain measure of civil liberty. 

THROUGH PRANCE 

Indulging in these thoughts I finally fell asleep, crossing 
the Somma Sierra, and not waking up until we stopped for a 
short time at Burgos. We had just had a glimpse in the early 
morning of the Gothic cathedral, one of the very finest in 
Spain. I regretted much not to have had time to stay a day 
in this memorable city, and to visit at Miraflores the tomb 
of the Cid near Burgos. By Victoria we soon reached the 
foothills of the Pyrenees, and about noon we had to leave the 
cars, the railroad not being finished for about twelve or fifteen 
miles. In open omnibuses we passed through a most splen- 
didly wooded country, over mountains with views into well- 
cultivated green valleys, until we came to the railway again. 



428 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEBNER 

These passes through the Pyrenees are grand and beautiful 
At San Sebastian we saw the Gulf of Biscay, passed Bayonne, 
and by six o'clock in the evening, passing through the desert- 
looking ' ' landes, ' ' reached Bordeaux. The depot at Bordeaux 
is at a considerable distance from that great city. As we had 
to dine, and the train stopped but half an hour, we could see 
but little of this interesting place. Here, by paying an ad- 
ditional twenty francs we got into a sleeping coupe. It had 
no berths, but chairs that could be drawn out to the length 
of a Short bed. But we were provided with soft pillows and 
soft blankets. We passed by some of the celebrated wine-pro- 
ducing hills, the vines not being cut as low as in Spain, but 
being raised over trellises or on poles as on the Rhine. During 
the night we went through Tours, Orleans, and quite early in the 
morning we found ourselves at Fontainebleau. In about an 
hour we landed at the Hotel de la Paix, Rue de Capucins. My 
English friends did not even stop to take breakfast, but drove 
at once to the Northern Station for Calais. Before parting, 
the younger of them, (the other being apparently a sort of a 
governor,) handed me his card, "R. White, of the Carlton 
Club," I believe the most aristocratic one in London. Of 
course I had to return mine. He read it over twice, thinking 
he had misread it. He looked somewhat embarrassed, made 
a slight bow, saying that he was very happy to have made my 
acquaintance, and left the office accompanied by his military- 
looking companion and his body-servant. 

With the assistance of a very experienced valet-de-place 
I used my time at Paris very well during a stay of three days. 
The Louvre and the Luxembourg galleries took up the first 
one. The close attention I had paid in Spain to all the 
museums of paintings and statuary and to the principal 
churches, made me look with quite different eyes and with far 
more satisfaction on the treasures of the Paris collections, than 
on my former visit. 

The next day I went to Versailles, where I had never been 
before, going down on the right side of the Seine by Mount 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 429 

Valerien and Sevres through a most delightful country and re- 
turning by the railway on the left side. I visited first the 
Little and then the Great Trianon and then the Gardens and 
the Great Palace. At the Trianons there were many relics 
of the unfortunate Louis XVI and his more unfortunate and 
lovely Queen, Marie Antoinette. My valet, by whispering my 
title into the ears of the various attendants and overseers of 
these royal residences and slipping a respectable douceur into 
their hands, pretended that I had been shown a great many 
things which were invisible to ordinary sightseers. Of course, 
I have only his word for it. In the palace I must say that be- 
sides the great salons, containing large-sized pictures of all 
the successful French battles, I was shown through at least a 
dozen other rooms and salons which were of some notoriety. 

The last day was devoted to the palaces of the Senate and 
Lower House, to a number of churches, the Palais des Beaux- 
Arts, the Hotel de Cluny and the magnificent Hotel de Ville. 

At the Chatelet, which is the largest theatre in Paris and 
especially appropriated to spectacular performances, I saw 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" represented with an almost fabulous 
magnificence. The scenery was a perfect illusion. The Ohio 
River running with heavy ice over which Eliza, the negro girl, 
fled, was a magnificent piece of scenic work. The pursuers 
rode on blooded horses and the hounds were real bloodhounds, 
whose deep bellowing sent a shudder through the house. The 
melodrama was interspersed with a number of ballets of whites, 
quadroons, and negroes. The negro dances were most gro- 
tesque and comical. The other nights I spent at the Opera 
House. 

THROUGH GERMANY TO NEW YORK 

By Chalons-sur-Marne, Nancy, Saverne, Strassburg, Heid- 
elberg, I reached Frankfort on the first of August, where I 
joined Sophie, Augusta and Paula. As the lectures of Gus- 
tave in Heidelberg and also the quarter in Paula's ladies' 
seminary had not terminated, we, with the exception of Paula, 
went to our usual resort, Heidelberg. 



430 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

On the 20th of August, after having made several excur- 
sions, we left for Hamburg. We had engaged passage on the 
Germania, a new steamer and then considered the best and 
swiftest of that line. We were to sail on the 24th. Hamburg 
was new to all except myself. The handsome parks and 
villas of the merchant-princes of Hamburg, on the banks of 
the Elbe, some of them having very rich conservatories and 
palm-houses, Nienstedten and Blankenese, the environs of the 
Outer Alster, the churches, museums, and exchange, the beau- 
tiful promenades and cemeteries, and the very extensive Zoo- 
logical Garden were all visited and greatly enjoyed by us. 

My receiving here a visit from my old Jena friend, Henry 
Rueder, was an agreeable surprise. After having undergone 
some years' imprisonment for having been a member of the 
Burschenschaft, he was finally admitted to the practice of 
law, in which he distinguished himself so much that he was 
appointed one of the state's attorneys of the dukedom of Olden- 
burg, of which he was a native. He finally reached the office 
of attorney general for the whole state. I believe that I have 
already stated that we remained in correspondence until a few 
years ago when he died; but it was only lately that I heard 
of his death. 

On the day appointed we left Hamburg. The Germania 
was really one of the finest boats existing at that time. The 
company of the first and even second class was very agreeable. 
The boat went into the Southampton harbor, and spent a 
day there coaling. A Turkish steam-frigate of forty-four 
guns was there in the docks. Our very attentive and accom- 
modating captain thought it might interest us to visit the 
Turk, as he expressed it, and so he went on board the frigate 
and reported that the United States minister to Spain and 
family would like to inspect the vessel. He brought us back 
an invitation in French from the vice-admiral. Perhaps there 
was not the same comfort, neatness and exquisite cleanliness 
apparent on board of the Turk as we had found in one of the 
magnificent steamers of the Oriental line which we had visited 



LAST DAYS IN SPAIN 431 

just before ; but still, even in that respect, she left little to be 
desired. The cabins of the admiral and of some of the higher 
officers were most luxuriously fitted up in Oriental style. 
Heavy Persian carpets covered the floors and the curtains 
and divans were of the richest silk, and there was an abundance 
of silver-plate in handsomely worked cases. In the vast gun- 
room a number of sea-cadets were squatting round an old 
venerable looking schoolmaster, who was reading to them, 
while they took down notes on little tablets. Of course, we 
did not understand anything; but the young fellows looked 
very intelligent. The vice-admiral spoke French, and showed 
us around with great politeness. 

The weather was very fine, and the trip from South- 
ampton to New York quick and pleasant. It was made in a 
little more than nine days, which was considered "Cunard 
time." We landed at Hoboken, on the 6th of September, and 
had no trouble with the customs' officers. We took up our 
quarters at the old Astor House. I had to go to Washington 
first, so Sophie and the children left for home at once. 

At Sandy Hook the pilot had brought us the late New 
York papers. Running my eye over one of them, I read the 
platform of the Democratic party which had assembled at 
Chicago on the 20th of August, as also some of the speeches 
which had been made there. I immediately turned round to 
some of the gentlemen from New York who had been our 
companions, and said: "Now Mr. Lincoln's election is cer- 
tain." One article of that Democratic platform had "explic- 
itly" declared that "after four years of failure to restore the 
Union, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare de- 
mand immediate cessation of hostilities with a view to an 
ultimate convention of the States, so that at the earliest prac- 
ticable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the 
Federal Union of the States." General McOlellan had been 
nominated for President, and Geo. H. Pendleton of Ohio for 
Vice-President. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 
End of the War 

I hastened to Washington. Messrs. Hay and Nicolay in 
their ' ' Life of Lincoln ' ' represent Mr. Lincoln as having been 
entirely confident of his election after his nomination by the 
Baltimore Convention, and to have taken no measures at all 
to secure his success. My experience does not agree with this 
statement. On the contrary, the President was extremely 
uneasy, not to say alarmed. Although General McClellan, 
in accepting the platform, had distinctly and in very excellent 
language repudiated the peace-article of the Democratic plat- 
form, Mr. Lincoln thought that the General was very strong 
with the army and that Gen. Fremont would make such a 
division in New York and some of the Northern States as to 
defeat him. He thought from what he could learn of the 
Cleveland Convention, which had nominated Fremont, that 
he would lose what he called the German element, which held 
the balance of power in Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois. 

I assured him that there was no danger to be expected 
from that element, that I personally knew most of the men 
who had figured prominently in the Fremont move, that they 
were, though perfectly honest in their wild and radical notions, 
men of no political sense, nor were they able to manage a 
campaign; that I had kept up my correspondence with my 
German friends in Illinois and Missouri, and although some 
of them had blamed him for being too conservative, they would 
support no one but him. 

The subject came up as to whether it would be advisable 
for me to enter into the campaign actively while I was tem- 
porarily at home, and we both agreed it would be better not 



END OF THE WAR 433 

to do so. I, however, reserved to myself the privilege, that, 
if I should be especially invited to address an important 
meeting, I would do so, to which Mr. Lincoln agreed. Regard- 
ing my own business we concluded to defer it until after the 
election. ; 

THE SECOND LINCOLN CAMPAIGN 

Returning by way of Cincinnati, I saw a number of the 
leading Germans there, and found matters as I had expected. 
Most of them were warmly for Lincoln ; the rest, while grum- 
bling, had decided to vote for him. It was charged that 
through the influence of Mr. Bates and the Blairs, efforts by 
the earnest Republicans to abolish slavery in Missouri by a 
constitutional convention had been thwarted, in conse- 
quence of which the feeling of the Germans, particularly in 
Missouri, was very bitter against the administration. Inas- 
much, however, as General Fremont, late in September, with- 
drew from the canvass, (it is said on the condition that the 
Blair influence should be eliminated, which gained some sem- 
blance of truth from Montgomery Blair's leaving the cabinet 
about this time,) the discontent in Missouri lost its force, and 
Missouri gave a large majority for Mr. Lincoln at the Novem- 
ber election. 

At home I found everything right politically. The Union 
League, a secret society formed a year or so before in all the 
Free States, had been perfectly organized and exerted a power- 
ful influence. It was perhaps in its inception a necessity. 
The Secession Democrats in the North had previously formed 
secret societies, and the drafts, the increase of taxation, several 
violent and imprudent acts by some of the Republican author- 
ities, the slow progress in the field, had largely increased the 
opposition the year before and really endangered the Union 
cause. But although much urged I did not join the League, 
either then or afterwards, as I have a decided antipathy 
against all secret political and, indeed, against all other secret 
societies or lodges, as they generally fall under the control of 
a few cunning, designing men and become tools in their hands. 



434 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Although, having been in the army, I could have become a 
member of the Grand Army of the Republic, I have declined 
also to join that organization, fearing its being abused for 
party purposes by designing demagogues. 

I had not been home more than a few days when I re- 
ceived invitations from various parts of the State to address 
Republican meetings. I accepted only two. I spoke at Alton, 
where my friends represented that the Democrats were mak- 
ing considerable headway, and at Chicago, where the State 
Central Committee Club sent me an urgent invitation that 
I could not refuse. 

MEETINGS IN CHICAGO 

The meetings at Chicago were tumultuous. The halls were 
crowded to overflowing. Regimental bands were playing at 
the opening and conclusion. Campaign glee-clubs were sing- 
ing. The speakers were interrupted by uniformed clubs march- 
ing in, accompanied by brass bands. In order to make the 
principal meeting at Bryant's Hall still more attractive, the 
celebrated tragedian, James E. Murdock, was announced to 
make an address and recite some patriotic poetry. The music 
and singing, with encores, at the beginning, took up nearly 
an hour. The audience was noisy and excited. Before I was 
even introduced by the president, the cry was "Murdock, 
Murdock. ' ' The people had come to see a show, and evidently 
did not care to hear speeches. Outside the hall, in the streets, 
processions were marching, probably of both parties, making 
an infernal noise. 

I felt at once that I was not the right sort of a fellow 
for such a crowd; and, if only because I had been intro- 
duced by the president as one of the founders of the great 
Republican party, as a trusted friend of Mr. Lincoln, as a 
distinguished statesman and as the representative of our coun- 
try at the court of Spain, I could not adapt myself to the 
moods and demands of a crowd; even if I had wished to do 
so, I could not have delivered a political harangue denounc- 
ing the opposition-party as traitors and copperheads. So at 



END OF THE WAR 435 

the start I told the people I should certainly disappoint them, 
as I would not appeal to their passions but to their reason. 
I shortened my speech considerably, however, as I was well 
aware how impatient the audience was to hear the comical 
songs of the Eepublican Glee Club and Mr. Murdock 's dramatic 
performances. "When I got through, Senator Trumbull, ac- 
cording to the programme, was to speak; but there was such 
shouting for Murdock that this gentleman had to come for- 
ward. After a very feeling introduction (I believe he had 
lost a son in the field) he recited some poetical pieces very 
finely. Being encored, he gave the scene from Hamlet where 
that prince makes his friends, Horatio and Marcellus. swear 
on his sword not to divulge what they had seen that night, 
and where the ghost from below utters the word "Swear." 
It was admirably done, though certainly it had no connection 
with the business of the meeting. It was getting late. Senator 
Trumbull was almost in the same embarrassed situation I had 
been in. He was no ranter, was in fact an excellent and 
impressive and often sarcastic debater, not disposed and not 
able, indeed, to stir up a promiscuous crowd on the eve of an 
important election. He certainly had been displeased with 
the behaviour of the audience and did not disguise it, 
for when he opened his address he said that he was well aware 
that in troublous times when men's minds were excited he 
was the most popular speaker who would add fuel to the fire 
and to the passions of the hearers. To add to this excitement 
was not right. Constitutional liberty and the striking off of the 
shackles of the slave were not to be supported by "hurrahs" 
at public meetings. These remarks had a good effect, and 
the cry for the song of "Little Mac" and for Murdock 's oath 
ceased for sometime. It was near midnight when the meeting 
broke up of course, with three cheers and a tiger. 

The fact is that meetings held only a few days before an 
election affect the vote only so far as people otherwise slow 
and phlegmatic may be induced not to stay away from the 
polls. As for producing changes of opinion they are failures. 



436 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Earlier in the campaign and when great numbers have not 
yet taken sides, and of this class there are more than people 
imagine, holding very often the balance of power, argu- 
mentative speeches, particularly where there are joint debates, 
are of great value. But later in the canvass people have usual- 
ly made up their minds; the meetings are all one-sided, and 
there is of course no chance of making converts. In the large 
cities particularly, meetings just before an important election 
are mere pageants, one might even say public nuisances. 

On the invitation of several German clubs I stayed some 
time longer in Chicago to address a meeting at the Turn-Hall 
on the North Side, where the German element prevails. But as 
there were nearly as many Americans present as Germans, 
the speeches, except the one by the president, Francis A 
Hoffmann, were made in English. This meeting was also a 
very large one and very enthusiastic, though by no means 
tumultuous. Some marching clubs came in, but left their 
music and torch-lights outside. The much noted John Went- 
worth, of giant stature, followed us, and made a very excel- 
lent ward speech, abusing some aldermen, which, however 
was wholly inappropriate and left the meeting cold, except 
his " claque," which he always brought with him. Fortun- 
ately Governor Hoffmann wound up with a most eloquent 
and forcible speech. 

Perhaps a sentence or two from my speech at the Turn- 
Hall will best show in what way I thought it right to address 
the public on this occasion, holding the position I did : 

"We are now on the eve of a Presidential election whose 
importance alone could prevail upon me to appear as a public 
speaker. You cannot and will not expect of me that I should 
indulge in a partisan warfare. I stand here not as a party 
man, although I shall not disguise that my feelings are with 
the Republican party, of which I was a member almost from 
its foundation. I come to speak as an American citizen, to 
strengthen the faith of the Union men, to convince the wav- 
ering and to bring over to our cause such of our opponents 
as are misled only by misrepresentations and have been de- 
ceived by the raising of false issues. ' ' 



END OF THE WAR 437 

While at Chicago, I visited Camp Douglas where some 
8,000 or 10,000 rebel prisoners were confined. The barracks ap- 
peared to be clean, the men looked well, and did not seem to 
feel depressed. Most of them were young and able-bodied men. 
Of course, the discipline was strict. There was a dangerous 
rebel element in the city, led by men of standing and abil- 
ity. At one time it was thought that there was a conspiracy to 
liberate the prisoners and to take possession of the town in the 
namte of the Confederacy. The outbreak was to be on election 
day. On this suspicion a number of people were arrested, among 
whom some Confederate officers were found, still belonging 
to the rebel army. They were treated as spies. One was by 
a court-martial sentenced to be hanged; but he was, I believe, 
pardoned. The citizens of Illinois who had been arrested 
were acquitted, no sufficient proof being found of their par- 
ticipation in the conspiracy, if there was one. 

Some two weeks after these meetings Mr. Lincoln was 
triumphantly elected, receiving the vote of all the Union 
States with the exception of Delaware, Kentucky and New 
Jersey. In Illinois he received thirty thousand majority, 
while in 1860 he had not had quite five thousand majority 
over all his opponents, Douglas, Breckenridge and Bell. 

RESIGNS FROM THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE 

On the 20th of November I went to Washington. The 
President could not make me any certain promise of changing 
my mission. He wanted me in the service. He suggested, 
as my leave of absence was just expiring, to have it extended 
to the 1st of January. In the meantime he thought he might 
succeed in making arrangements with some of the ministers 
or some of the gentlemen who would be appointed next March, 
by which he could put me at some place more convenient for 
me. Mr. Seward at once made out such extension of leave, as 
he said in his despatch, ''cheerfully." While at Washington 
Senor Tassara gave me a dinner at the Spanish embassy. Mr. 
Seward, who was in the finest spirits, took the head of the 



438 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

table. All the chiefs of legation and the personnel of the 
Spanish mission were present. Senor Tassara being unmar- 
ried, no ladies were present. Mr. Seward told all sorts of 
anecdotes, and of course elicited some from the other guests. 
Seward seemed to be very familiar with all the diplomats, 
called them by their surnames, without any Mr. The session 
after dinner lasted until early in the morning. Champagne 
flowed. I walked home with Mr. Seward, who was feeling 
remarkably well ; I had to ring the bell for him. Nothing, how- 
ever, turned up in my favor between my visit to Washington 
and the first of December; so on the 20th of December I sent 
in my resignation, to take effect on the first of January. In 
reply Mr. Seward wrote me on January 8th, 1865: 

"Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your communication dated December 28th tendering your 
resignation as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary of the United States at the Court of her Catholic Maj- 
esty, the Queen of Spain. In acquainting you with the Pres- 
ident's acceptance of your resignation, it affords me pleasure 
to add that your discharge of the arduous duties of the mis- 
sion which you relinquish, has been entirely satisfactory. 
I am, etc., etc." 

The President, when I last saw him in Washington in 
November, was in the best of spirits. He saw daylight, he 
said; told me more amusing anecdotes than he had ever done 
before when I was with him; alluded, however, in feeling 
terms to some of the gloomy and harassing periods he had 
passed through, and which had almost broken his heart. 

PRIVATE AFFAIRS 

I entered on the year 1865 as a free man. We found 
ourselves at once perfectly at home, and, I believe, our friends 
found no difference in our mode of life and in our social 
relations from what they formerly were. We could be com- 
paratively far more liberal in our expenses than at Madrid, 
where we had to make the closest calculations to live respect- 
ably without sacrificing too much of our own money. 



END OF THE WAR 439 

Very soon I was entrusted with important cases, arising 
from alleged infractions of our internal revenue laws, which, 
of course, were often violated owing to the enormous taxes 
laid on many manufactured articles. Confiscations had taken 
place, suits on bonds, criminal proceedings had been insti- 
tuted in the Federal courts, and my time for nearly two 
years was much engrossed by attending to these cases, not only 
in the United States Court at Springfield, but also at Cincin- 
nati, St. Louis and Washington City. Governor Oglesby had 
also appointed me to assist Mr. Isaac N. Morris of Quincy 
in the prosecution of a claim of the State of Illinois against 
the United States arising from a provision of the act of 
Congress enabling the Territory of Illinois to become a State, 
which claim was known as the two-per-cent claim and amount- 
ed to several hundred thousand dollars. This case also occu- 
pied me more or less for two or three years, and necessitated 
my presence in Washington City repeatedly. The business 
in the Belleville circuit had also largely increased. Gustave 
entered my law office to pursue his legal studies. 

CLOSE OF THE WAR 

In the first months of this year the war was drawing to 
a close. Sherman had marched through Georgia and taken 
Savannah. At the end of December General Thomas had 
utterly routed and defeated Hood's army at Nashville. 
Thomas's troops under command of General Schofield were 
sent from Nashville to Washington within a few days, owing 
to the remarkable ability of my friend Gen. Lewis B. Parsons, 
the head of the river and railroad transportation. Sherman 
had entered South Carolina and from there moved up to 
North Carolina to meet Schofield. Grant was encircling 
Richmond with his large army. 

On the 4th of March Mr. Lincoln's second inauguration 
took place. His address on that occasion is full of sublime 
utterances, and is certainly a state paper which for originality 
and impressiveness is hardly equalled in history. On the 



440 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

first day of April the fortified lines around Richmond were 
taken by assault or abandoned. Jefferson Davis and his cabi- 
net left Richmond on the second of April. On the third, 
General Weitzel, at the head of a cavalry party, entered 
Richmond, a part of which was on fire. Mr. Lincoln, who 
had come down previously to General Grant's headquarters, 
quietly walked along with a few officers as an escort through 
burning warehouses, vessels, docks and streets to the capitol 
of the Confederacy. 

Generals Grant and Sherman outflanked the retreating 
army of Lee, thus preventing its junction with the Confeder- 
ate army of Joseph Johnston, and, on the ninth of April, Lee 
surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House. The war 
was substantially ended. 

This glorious news was an immense relief to the loyal 
people. A load of sorrow and anxiety was taken from the 
minds of all those who had dear ones in the army. The exist- 
ence of the nation had been preserved. Glorification meetings 
were held all over the country. Prayers went up in all the 
churches. There were rejoicings and congratulations every- 
where. Everybody was full of hope and happiness. What 
was most remarkable was the spirit of moderation and will- 
ingness to forgive shown to the conquered South by the loyal 
people of the North at that time. Lincoln's own benignity, 
his discarding all idea of vengeance, seemed to inspire the 
whole country. The concluding words of his inaugural ad- 
dress, ' ' With malice towards none ; with charity for all ; with 
firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us 
strive on to finish the work we are in ; to bind up the nation 's 
wounds, etc.," had sunk deep into the people's heart. 

LINCOLN'S DEATH 

On the fifteenth of April, the day after Good Friday, I 
left my house for my office about eight o'clock in the morning. 
When I reached Main Street, I was surprised that the people 
were closing their stores and that the Union flag, which, after 



END OF THE WAR 441 

the surrender at Appomattox, had been hoisted on all public 
buildings and many private ones, hung at half-mast. Some 
houses were already draped with black crape. "Lincoln is 
dead," "Lincoln has been assassinated," was heard through 
the streets. I hurried to the telegraph office. The last des- 
patch announced his death at seven o'clock in the morning. 
He had been shot in the theatre by John Wilkes Booth a 
little after ten the night before. I went home at once, hardly 
able to keep on my feet to tell the sad news. When Sophie 
heard it, she grew pale, trembled and exclaimed: "That was 
the shot we heard last night. ' ' I now recollected the circum- 
stance she had referred to. We were sitting in our back 
parlor around the center-table, some reading, others doing 
needle-work, when we heard the report of a gun between nine 
and ten o'clock. It was so loud that we supposed the gun had 
been fired on our back-porch, which runs along the west side 
of the south wing of the house. Our room had a window 
looking out on the porch, and I immediately rose, raised the 
window, but could see no person nor any smoke. I then went 
out on the porch and the lawn around our house. Nothing 
was to be seen. But as there was a close board fence some 
six feet high between the lawn and the street west of the 
house, I could not see whether there was any person in the 
street. At that time the street was only partly built up, and, 
although the house was in the city limits, it was still in a 
retired part of the town. It was nothing at all unusual at that 
time for people to fire off pistols or guns, and we paid no 
further attention to it and went back to our room. 

Of course, there existed no connection between this inci- 
dent and the terrible scene at Washington. I had tried to 
reason with Sophie who was the least superstitious and the 
most courageous of women ; but I only half convinced her of the 
unreasonableness of her belief. And even in later years, when 
the subject of Lincoln's assassination came up, she would still 
insist that it was at least a very remarkable coincidence. Now 
the identity of the time was very questionable. As far as I 



442 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

recollect, Wilkes fired his pistol about twenty-five minutes 
past ten. By the difference between Eastern and Western 
time it must have been about half an hour after nine in 
Belleville. None of us, however, could tell more than that 
we heard the report of a gun between nine and ten o'clock; 
but whether it was fifteen, twenty-five, .thirty-five or fifty min- 
utes past nine no one could recollect, as we did not look at 
the clock when we heard the report. 

Lincoln's death was everywhere considered as a national 
calamity. The rebels had lost their best friend, was the gener- 
al expression. It is now pretty well ascertained that Booth's 
act was that of an eccentric, vainglorious, and, through dissi- 
pation, half -crazed individual, that the leaders of the Rebel- 
lion had nothing to do with it. But that was not the first 
impression, and when the hot-headed Andrew Johnson, as 
President, issued a proclamation charging Jefferson Davis 
of Richmond and some other Confederate leaders who had 
been for some time in Canada with having incited and pro- 
cured the assassination of President Lincoln, and offered 
$100,000 reward for the arrest of Jefferson Davis and $25,000 
for the others, most of the loyal people believed the Presi- 
dent's charge to be true and their feelings became greatly 
embittered against the vanquished South. This proclamation 
may be said to be the origin of the denunciations against the 
South, better known as the ' ' waving of the bloody shirt, ' ' which 
have done such infinite mischief, so long delaying the peace- 
able and fraternal consolidation of the Union. 

FUNERAL OF LINCOLN 

After most solemn funeral rites over the corpse of the 
late President, performed at the Capitol at "Washington, the 
remains were brought to Springfield. At the principal cities 
of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, the 
funeral car was received by thousands, nay millions, of mourn- 
ers, who cast a last look on the martyred chief. Such a funeral 
procession through cities draped in black, through crowds of 



END OF THE WAR 443 

thousands who sobbed and wept, receiving all imaginable 
civil and military honors, was never seen in the world's his- 
tory before and will never be seen again. 

On Tuesday, the second of May, the funeral train reached 
Springfield in the evening. On Wednesday the remains were 
exposed in the hall of the House of Representatives, and vis- 
ited, it was said, by at least 75,000 people from far and wide. 
From Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, people 
had come to Springfield to see their beloved President laid 
to rest. 

The guard of honor that accompanied the corpse from 
Washington, consisted of a major-general and five brigadier- 
generals of the army. A deputation of six senators and twelve 
representatives also came from Washington. The governors 
of ten States were present. On Thursday, the fourth of May, 
on a beautiful bright day, the interment took place in the 
Oak Ridge Cemetery. The procession was immense, partly 
military, partly civil. 

I had been especially invited to be present by the com- 
mittee of arrangements, though I should otherwise certainly 
not have failed to be there. Somewhat to my surprise, I 
learnt by the papers that I had been appointed pall-bearer. I 
say surprise, because of the twelve gentlemen selected I was 
the only one not from Springfield. The others had all been 
for many years his fellow-townsmen, and, with the exception 
of Judge Treat, had been his strong political friends in old 
Whig times when I was of course in decided opposition to 
Mr. Lincoln and his principles. Our personal relations during 
that time of political difference had been very friendly, how- 
ever, and for some reason or other Mr. Lincoln had treated 
me with particular kindness and attention. This perhaps 
was known to the committee of arrangements. Nearly all the 
twelve who walked with heads uncovered on each side of the 
hearse from the Capitol to the grave are dead. They were 
Judge Stephen T. Logan, James L. Lamb, Jesse K. Dubois, 
Judge S. H. Treat, John Williams, Erastus Wright, J. N. 



444 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOEENER 

Brown, J. N. Bun, C. W. Matheny, Elijah lies, and John 
Stewart. Bishop Simpson of the Methodist Episcopal church 
made an excellent funeral address, eschewing all rhetoric, one 
which in its sensible chasteness was all the more impressive. 
To analyze such a highly complex character as that of 
Mr. Lincoln, and to give a correct portraiture of it, is a task 
which many have undertaken, but in which few, if any, have 
fully succeeded. I knew him well enough to have been able 
to detect certain weaknesses and defects in his character. The 
great and good, however, largely preponderated. Mr. Seward 
had said of Mr. Lincoln that he was the best man he ever 
knew. I should rather say he was the justest man I ever knew. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

The Years 1865 to 1867 

In July, 1865, the revenue cases, as also the prosecution 
of the two-per-cent claim, made my presence in Washington 
necessary. I passed there nearly three weeks during a spell 
of continuous hot weather. Mr. Morris of Quincy, the prin- 
cipal agent in the State claim business, was with me. We 
sought to impress the President also with the justice of our 
claim. Before Lincoln's inauguration in 1861, I had seen Mr. 
Johnson at a distance only, when he was making a Union 
speech from the balcony of his hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. 
He was then very popular, being the only decided Union 
Senator from the South, but I did not notice him particularly, 
standing as I was in an enthusiastic crowd cheering him 
constantly. Meeting him now in the White House and con- 
versing with him for half an hour or so, he made, I must say, 
a very unfavorable impression on me. He was of medium 
height, of rather dark complexion, and with piercing dark 
eyes, showing, as I thought, unrest; his features were some- 
what contracted, not exactly vulgar, but ordinary; and his 
figure not elegant. While listening to our representations he 
put on an air of judicial importance which was altogether 
out of place. His troubles and difficulties with the Repub- 
lican party were at that time only at an incipient stage. Our 
interview was by no means satisfactory, not as regards our 
business, (for of course we expected from him no committal, 
though we mentioned what President Lincoln had thought 
of the justness of the State's claims,) but on account of his 
personal appearance and the stiffness and coldness of his 
manner. 



446 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 



General Grant, at that time the chief of the army, was 
residing at Georgetown Heights, which were covered with a 
number of very fine residences. Mr. Morris, who was a strong 
personal friend of General Grant, and who frequently called 
upon him, wanted me repeatedly to go along with him and 
see the General. Now I was always somewhat shy in seek- 
ing interviews with distinguished men. The last time I had 
seen Grant in Springfield and Belleville, he was in a very sub- 
ordinate position. I might say that I could then have consid- 
ered myself as patronizing him. Perhaps, thought I, the Gen- 
eral might not be particularly glad to renew our acquaintance. 
One morning, however, Mr. Morris came around to my lodgings 
in a carriage stating that I must go to see the General. He, 
Morris, had informed him that I was in the city and the Gen- 
eral had told him that he would be very glad to see me. If 
I did not pay him a visit, Morris thought, it would be almost 
offensive in me. So I went to Georgetown. The General occu- 
pied a large mansion on the hills, from which there was a 
beautiful view over the charming environs of Washington. 
As we entered, General Grant was just descending the stairs, 
and met us in the hall. He was in full-dress uniform, just 
about to have his and his sons ' photographs taken by an artist 
who had repeatedly asked him for a sitting in full-dress uni- 
form. He had grown stouter than when I had seen him last, 
looked in fine health, and was in good spirits. He took us 
to the parlor, and introduced us to Mrs. Grant. I had not 
seen her before. She was plain-looking; there was nothing 
distingue about her. In this she was a true partner of the 
General. Yet there was something amiable in her face, and 
she was perfectly unaffected. The two boys, then about fifteen 
or sixteen years of age, were clad in a kind of uniform. They 
had attended an academy, I believe, in New Jersey, where, as 
in many other institutions, a sort of military instruction is 
also given. 

I must say that General Grant received me very cordially, 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 447 

spoke of our pleasant intercourse at Springfield, and recollect- 
ed a great many little things which I had entirely forgotten. 
We smoked the legendary cigar, and the conversation turned 
upon the last spring campaign. Upon my remarking that the 
pursuit of Lee 's army and the cutting off of his retreat, ending 
in his surrender at Appomattox Court House, were in my 
opinion the greatest exploits in our long war, he answered 
rather indirectly by saying: "We had a great deal of good 
luck. About that time the weather in Virginia is almost such 
that one is stuck up in the mud, and if nevertheless it comes to 
a fight and one wins, pursuit is out of the question. Excep- 
tionally the roads were excellent, and we could go where we 
wanted to go. Two days after the surrender there was a turn 
in the weather, so that any movement then would have been 
impossible." He expressed his surprise at the sudden down- 
fall of the Rebellion. "Indeed," he said, "I always knew 
that the thing must tumble down like a pile of brick, but I 
did not think it would happen so quickly." 

I am reporting now his very words. I made a memor- 
andum of them the same day and accidentally found it amongst 
my papers of that year. He was as modest as ever. He did 
not speak unkindly of the South, rather the contrary. He 
had always been a Democrat, and, I should think, at that time 
had no aspirations for the Presidency. He held the highest 
military office for life with a large salary. He had received 
donations in houses and money by voluntary contribution, and 
had sense enough to know that he was not well qualified for 
the Presidency. He had no partisan feelings either way, and 
if the Democrats had nominated him in 1868, he would, I 
firmly believe, have accepted the nomination. 

Indeed, I had at that time formed a most favorable 
opinion about General Grant. He was then as little "stuck 
up" as when I met him in Springfield in 1861, when I came 
to like him just because he did not show at all the usual self- 
sufficiency and arrogance of a West Pointer. Of his military 
genius, I had never formed the exaggerated opinion of most 



448 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

of his admirers. He was cool and persistent ; but while General 
Lee was sparing of the lives of his soldiers, Grant ultimately 
succeeded by large superiority in numbers and by immense 
sacrifices of blood. 

On my return home by way of Philadelphia, I met at the 
depot Colonel Mather of Springfield, who had been adjutant- 
general of Illinois at the time of the outbreak of the Rebel- 
lion. It was in his office that Grant was first employed as an 
assistant. I was waiting for a train and Mather, then a col- 
onel of artillery, was standing on the platform with some 
officers, who, judging from their shoulder-straps, were general 
officers whom he had seen off on some other train. We had 
not seen one another for four years, and he seemed to be very 
glad to meet me. He introduced me to his friends saying: 
"Gentlemen, this is the only man in Springfield who, at the 
beginning of the war, had found out that there was anything 
in Grant, and who said 'this man is a true soldier and will 
make his way.' " 

I had not the slightest recollection of having said this; 
and rather intimated that he might be mistaken. But Mather 
so firmly insisted upon it in the presence of his military com- 
panions, that I finally made up my mind to believe him. 

APPOINTED A TRUSTEE OP THE SOLDIERS' ORPHANS' HOME 

Shortly after my return from Washington, Governor 
Oglesby asked me whether I would accept an appointment on 
the Board of Trustees of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home. The 
Legislature had passed a law for the erection of an asylum for 
the nursing and education of soldiers' orphans. It provided 
for a commission to select a suitable place and for a board of 
trustees to superintend the building of the asylum and the 
conducting of the establishment. It was an honorary appoint- 
ment without any salary, and I, of course, accepted. My 
colleagues, six in number elected me president. I filled the 
office until the building was erected on land donated by Judge 
David Davis of the Supreme Court of the United States, near 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 449 

Bloomjington, a little to the northwest of the Normal School, 
and until the asylum had been fairly organized and the chil- 
dren, some two hundred and fifty, had been moved into it. 
At first we had to hire rooms in Bloomington and also one in 
Springfield for the reception of the orphans, and to appoint 
matrons and teachers. Under the law as it stood first, only 
full orphans were to be received, and they were to stay only 
till they were fourteen years of age. By several changes, 
half orphans were admitted and the age for staying was raised 
to sixteen years. It was supposed that in about fifteen years 
there would be no more candidates for the asylum, and the 
building then could be converted into some other public institu- 
tion. I believe finally children of soldiers who were poor or of 
the poor widows of soldiers were admitted, so that it has turned 
out that under the name of orphans the institution has, at 
the end of twenty-five years, as many, if not more, inmates, 
than when the building was finished at the end of 1868. 

A good deal of my time was spent on this business during 
my holding of this office. There were meetings of the whole 
board and still more numerous ones of the executive committee 
of the board, at which I also had to preside. A code of rules 
and regulations had to be provided, teachers appointed, build- 
ing contracts made, and accounts examined and audited. No 
similar institution existed at that time, except one at Madison, 
Wisconsin. I visited three or four orphan asylums in St. 
Louis and Chicago, Protestant and Catholic, and inquired into 
their management and regulations. On a pleasure tour East 
with Sophie and Paula (in 1867), I spent several days at 
Madison, where I got very valuable information, as that insti- 
tution had been in operation for a year or two. In Boston I 
got printed rules and regulations of several orphan retreats. 
Thus informed, I was able to draw up a set of rules which was 
approved by the board. After the public celebration of the 
opening of the asylum in its new place, I resigned. I claim 
some credit in one respect. The majority of the board, as is the 
common experience in this country, were for spending the 



450 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

greatest part of the appropriation on a costly building with 
a large dome, an unnecessary thing in most buildings, and 
one which, on account of its requiring a very heavy founda- 
tion, increases the initial cost immensely. I succeeded by 
strong efforts in making them adopt the least expensive plan, 
which while tasteful in its simplicity, was yet solid and ample 
enough for all purposes. I do not think that any public 
building in the State has been erected at less cost. 

PUBLISHES HIS REMINISCENCES OF SPAIN 

While in Spain I had written a number of letters to our 
Mary, giving a pretty full account of our Andalusian tour, 
which had been published in the "Illinois Staatszeitung " in 
Chicago. Some of the letters to Mrs. Rosa Tittmann in St. 
Louis contained brief descriptions of our sea-voyage and our 
journey through France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain, 
and also of my trip to Hamburg and my stay at Kiel. Hav- 
ing repeatedly visited the picture-galleries at Madrid, I made 
extensive memoranda of those art-treasures. On some sub- 
jects, which had interested me much, such as the "Semana 
Santa," "Eugenie's Visit to Madrid," the "Festival of the 
'Dos de Mayo', " I had written sketches just for my own amuse- 
ment. I never before had entertained the plan of collecting 
those stray writings and giving them to the public. I com- 
menced doing this, however, during the end of this year in the 
few leisure hours business, private and public, left me. In 
1866 I received a communication from Charles A. Dana, whose 
acquaintance I had made the previous year in Washington 
when I had transacted business in the War Office where he 
was assistant to Mr. Stanton, asking me very urgently to favor 
him with sketches of Spanish statesmen and with my views 
of the interesting events then taking place in Spain. Mr. 
Dana was then publishing a popular and important paper in 
Chicago called the "Republic." I complied with his wishes in 
a series of articles. While in office, I had, according to the 
rules laid down for ambassadors and consuls, written nothing 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 451 

political for any newspaper. I was now free to say what I 
pleased about the court, the ministers and the statesmen of 
Spain. The articles above mentioned I added, translated into 
German, to my other material, and, after some negotiations 
with German publishers, my book "Aus Spanien," J. D. 
Sauerlander, Frankfort, 1867, left the press in the fall of 
1866, rather at an unfortunate period for the German public, 
inasmuch as the Prussian-Austrian war and the formation 
of the North-German Bund left the country in a state of fer- 
mentation which naturally withdrew attention from liter- 
ary efforts having no connection with the great events which 
then shook all Europe. Although the reviews in the principal 
papers and monthly journals of my very modest little work 
were highly favorable, far more so than I had the right to 
expect, the sale was slow and moderate, and I do not think 
that the very respectable and well-known Frankfort firm 
which published it, made, any more than I, a fortune by it. 
Still, the composition of it gave me much pleasure, which I 
consider worth more than the pecuniary profit. 

LOCAL AND PERSONAL MATTERS 

At the end of September (1865) died one of my nearest 
friends, Henry Goedeking, of Belleville, one of the best in- 
formed, public-spirited and true-hearted men of our town, after 
a short illness. With entire unselfishness, having no aspira- 
tion for office, he had rendered the most valuable services 
to the Union cause in its darkest moments. He hastened to 
the battlefields where our friends had fought and fallen or 
been wounded, caring for their welfare or bringing them home. 
Liberal and social, he was full of energy and never did things 
by halves. His death at the end of fifty years was long and 
universally regretted. 

In our own family an important event now took place. 
On the 28th of December, Augusta was married to Roderick 
Rombauer of St. Louis. He was then holding the office of 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in that city. He had, 



452 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

with his parents and brothers and sisters, emigrated after 
1848 from Hungary, where the family, originally of German 
descent, had been settled for many years. They all spoke 
German, and had a German education. Like most immigrants, 
his father had bought a farm in Iowa, but soon died, and the 
family moved to St. Louis. Roderick, who had originally 
studied surveying, afterward turned his attention to the law, 
and studied in the office of Judge Lawrence, of Quincy, 111., 
who was one of the best lawyers of Illinois, and won high 
renown as a Justice of the Supreme Court for many years. 
At the outbreak of the Rebellion, Roderick answered the call 
of the President and volunteered in one of the three months' 
Missouri regiments, where he obtained the rank of captain. 
Augusta's leaving us was not so much felt, as she remained 
near to us, and our intercourse was very little interrupted. 

THE AUSTRIAN-PRUSSIAN WAR 

The year 1866, so far as our family was concerned, was 
not very eventful, but it was a most stormy year in Europe, 
as well as in our own country. Sehleswig-Holstein had been 
wrested from the Danes by Prussia and Austria combined. 
The strife between those powers was now as to who should 
finally possess it. Austria and the German Bund claimed it 
for the Bund under the legitimate heir of Duke Frederick of 
Augustenburg ; Prussia wanted to annex it to herself. There 
was during the first three months of the year a great deal of dip- 
lomatic correspondence ; also efforts were made to settle matters 
by a congress. It was evident that war would ensue, for 
Bismarck, the ruling Prussian minister, had already formed 
an alliance with Italy to the effect that if the war should break 
out, Italy should attack Austria to gain Venice, while Prus- 
sia, in case of victory, would incorporate several states of the 
Confederation, which would take sides with Austria. Bismarck 
had in the meantime duped Louis Napoleon, holding out 
final hopes of a cession of some German territory on the left 
bank of the Rhine in consideration of or as compensation for 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 453 

the increase of power of Prussia, provided Napoleon would 
remain in a position of friendly neutrality. The neutrality of 
Russia was also secured by Bismarck in some way. 

Austria called on the Bund to save Schleswig-Holstein 
from being annexed to Prussia, and a majority of the Diet 
voted to put the troops of the Confederation upon a war foot- 
ing. Prussia declared the Bund dissolved, called on the several 
German states to side with Prussia in forming a new Union 
exclusive of Austria, under a liberal constitution with a par- 
liament elected by universal suffrage. Some of the smaller 
states in the north entered at once into this Union ; but Sax- 
ony, Hanover, Bavaria, and all the southern states remained 
true to the old Bund. Prussia at once declared war, and en- 
tered Saxony, the Saxon army retiring into Bohemia, and 
joining the Austrians; it also invaded Hanover and Hesse- 
Cassel. In seven weeks the war was ended. The Austrian 
and Saxon armies were utterly defeated at Sadowa, and the 
Prussians advanced to the neighborhood of Vienna. Bavaria, 
Wuertemberg, Baden, Nassau, and Hesse-Darmstadt, were soon 
overcome by the Prussians, and in several battles their troops 
were defeated. Hanover , Hesse-Cassel, Schleswig-Holstein, 
Nassau, and Frankfort, were annexed to Prussia ; and from the 
other northern states that had sided with Prussia the North- 
German Bund was formed. Austria, by the peace of Prague, 
sanctioned these changes, and ceded, through Louis Napoleon, 
Venice to Italy, though Italy had not been successful in the 
war. Austria was left outside the rest of Germany. Napoleon, 
taken very much by surprise by the sudden and brilliant 
victories of Prussia, had accomplished but one object, the 
acquisition of Venice for the Italians, which was, however, a 
very doubtful gain for him, as it made Italy still stronger 
and more independent of France. The expected compensation 
in Germany escaped him. When Napoleon, during the peace 
negotiations, urged his claims to compensation by the cession 
of some German territory on the west of the Rhine, Bismarck 
informed the French minister that such a surrender was out 



454 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

of the question, since the King when approached on the sub- 
ject had declared "no German Dorf " shall be given up. 

The boldness, statecraft, astuteness and will-power dis- 
played by Bismarck in all transactions since the first difficulty 
about Schleswig-Holstein, gave him at once an enormous repu- 
tation. The war against Austria was not only in all the Ger- 
man states, but even in Prussia, very unpopular. The King 
himself was almost forced into it by his minister. The 
Prussian legislature had for years been in open conflict with 
the ministry, on account of its unconstitutional action. Bis- 
marck himself afterwards said that, at the time the war was 
begun, he was the most unpopular man in all Germany. The 
Prussian success, not obtained without a great deal of decep- 
tive play on the part of Bismarck, was certainly a very great 
stride toward the unification of Germany, and for this reason 
Bismarck easily received absolution for all his former sins 
against liberalism and for having brought about this bloody, 
fratricidal war. 

It was but natural that the Germans in this country were 
much interested in these events. Many of them had relatives 
and friends fighting on either side in this war. At first most 
of them condemned Prussia, as undoubtedly the old Bund 
and Austria were theoretically right in sustaining the inde- 
pendence of Schleswig-Holstein under its hereditary duke, 
for the annexation to Prussia was merely to gratify her desire 
for enlarging her power. An alliance with a foreign power 
to drive Austria out of the old Bund and to make war on the 
other German states that adhered to the Bund seemed, not 
unjustly, an act of rebellion. On the other hand the old Bund 
had really died of inanition, like the old German Empire. 
Everybody, even the princes themselves, had become satisfied 
that it could not be reformed in a liberal sense. Prussia had pro- 
posed to surround it with a parliament elected by German 
suffrage. The incorporation of Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, Nas- 
sau, Frankfort, and Schleswig-Holstein into Prussia did away 
with five states. By the peace of Prague, Saxony and all the 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 455 

northern states were consolidated with Prussia into the North- 
German Bund, comprising some thirty millions of people. 
That the southern states already in the Zollverein with the 
northern ones would ultimately have to join the northern ones 
was not an unreasonable expectation. Thus Germany would 
become at last a powerful united empire of some forty mil- 
lions. 

My correspondents from Frankfort, who felt most bitterly 
the loss of the independence of the old free city, and to whom 
I had expressed my opinion that after all the success of 
Prussia might turn out to have been the best thing for the 
union and glory of Germany, reproved me very strongly, and 
seemed surprised that I, a republican and a lover of popular 
liberty, should uphold the tyrannical policy of Bismarck. Of 
course, they had good reasons for mistrust. Mr. Theodore 
Hilgard, the very able jurist, who at all times had been a very 
enthusiastic friend of German unity, wrote me in November, 
1866, from Heidelberg, where he now resided permanently, a 
highly interesting letter, from which, to show the fears felt 
by really patriotic men upon the condition of German affairs, 
I will give some extracts : 

"The great revulsion which has taken place in Germany, 
or rather which is just beginning, will certainly attract your 
attention and your warmest interest in a high degree. As re- 
gards myself, I cannot entertain the sanguine and extravagant 
expectations which so many find in Prussia's easy victory and 
increase of power. For one I have a certain belief in histori- 
cal justice and cannot imagine that good will come out of 
such a series of intrigues and acts of violence as Prussia has 
been guilty of. That, as his adherents now loudly proclaim, 
Bismarck had in view the unity and prosperity of all Germany, 
I can never believe. He wanted and wants now a great Prus- 
sia and nothing else. It Prussia would swallow the whole of 
Germany, he of course would like it still better ; but he wants it 
to be a Prussian Germany. For the present Germany is divided 
into a Northern and Southern Germany. But even if this 
division should cease, united Germany would still be a united 
Prussia only, a Hohenzollern state with Bismarck and the 
country nobility backed by a sham parliament without con- 



456 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

trolling influence and with preponderating Prussian elements, 
having no power behind it if it should dare oppose the power 
of the dictator. To resume, I do not trust the Prussian sys- 
tem. I wish to God I was wrong; no one would rejoice more 
than myself." 

At the time this was written Mr. Hilgard's remarks con- 
tained a good deal of truth. Had it not been for the entirely 
unprovoked war with France in 1870, the alleged cause of 
which could not be approved even by those governments 
jealous of and unfriendly to Germany, and which was con- 
demned by the moral feeling of nearly all the civilized world, 
the condition of things as described by Mr. Hilgard in 1866 
might have continued in fact until now; and as regards the 
intimated weakness of the parliament, hampered as it is by 
the Bundesrath, a remnant of the old Frankfort Diet, that 
weakness still continues. 

The unity of the empire we owe to the folly and rashness 
of France in declaring a causeless war on the North-German 
Bund, an event which Bismarck with all his astuteness could 
not have foreseen, at least not the result of it. Whether he 
was from the days of the first successes in France in favor 
of the empire is still a doubtful question. The King cer- 
tainly was not. It ran counter to his feudal ideas of his 
hereditary right to rule by the grace of God. It was the 
Crown Prince Frederick who felt himself more of a German 
than of a Prussian, who, in connection with some of the smaller 
German princes, most strongly advocated the empire. The 
emperorship, not being inherited, but conferred by the unan- 
imous request of the reigning princes, approved and sanc- 
tioned by the North-German Reichstag and the legislative 
assemblies of the independent kings and princes, who were 
not formerly included in the Northern Bund, could not be con- 
sidered as given to William I of Prussia by the grace of 
God. He would have preferred to remain the King of Prus- 
sia and to have been merely the president or executive head 
of the German Bund. He yielded reluctantly. To express 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 457 

it in a word, Bismarck made Prussia great and powerful, and 
incidentally Germany, under the name of the Empire. 

JOHNSONIAN RECONSTRUCTION 

In our own country great excitement also prevailed, and 
the coming elections for governors, members of Congress, mem- 
bers of the State Legislatures and State officers were looked 
upon as of the highest importance. Johnson, President after 
the death of Lincoln, had at first shown the greatest bitter- 
ness towards the vanquished rebels, but owing, probably, to 
the great influence of Seward, far his superior in ability, had 
very soon taken a new departure. Mr. Seward from his very 
nature was conservative, and apt to compromise; but he had 
lost his hold on the majority of the Republican Congress even 
while he was in Mr. Lincoln's cabinet. He was ambitious. 
The Presidency, to which he had come so near in 1860, was 
still the great prize for which he had worked so long. John- 
son was equally ambitious. If they succeeded in conciliating 
the South and in getting all the rebel States into the Union 
again before election of 1868, either of them could hope with 
the help of the Northern Democracy to carry the election in 
his favor. The question of bringing the rebel States into 
proper relations with the Union States again naturally arose. 
It was a difficult problem. Johnson, instead of calling Con- 
gress together and acting by the advice of the legislature, 
which alone could, by the passage of proper laws, reconstruct 
the Union, took it into his head, of his own motion, to accom- 
plish this object. At first the people in the various seceded 
States were naturally under the government of the military 
commanders in the different parts of the country occupied 
by us, who upheld order and dispensed justice, which they 
could do only by military tribunals. This could not last long. 
Johnson appointed civil governors for each State with large 
discretionary powers, ordered these governors to call upon 
all those who were either included in the general amnesty or 
who had been especially pardoned by him and were willing 



458 

to take the oath of loyalty to the Union, to elect members for a 
convention which should adopt a constitution or amend their 
old one in such a manner as would conform to the Federal 
Constitution, under which new constitution, Legislatures, mem- 
bes of Congress and State officers should be elected, who 
should at once be treated as members of the Union just as if 
nothing had happened. This was done, and within a few 
months these resurrected States were ready to enter the Union 
as full-fledged members. 

The President had carried out this plan without a shadow 
of justification by law. Yet it is possible that the people and 
the Congress, when the latter assembled at its regular session 
in December, 1865, might have overlooked these irregularities 
and sanctioned the experiment, as Johnson himself called the 
measure, if the South had behaved with the least discretion 
and prudence. The new constitutions in the main were not 
objectionable, though most of them omitted provisions guar- 
anteeing the rights of the newly liberated slaves, now become 
an essential element in the State. But the new Legislatures 
in most of the reorganized States at once passed a series of 
most obnoxious laws, in some instances forbidding colored 
people from holding real estate and placing them otherwise 
under restrictions. So-called vagabond laws were passed, 
which soon would have placed most of the free negroes under 
a sort of Mexican peonage. The worst feature in this experi- 
ment was that no one was elected either to Congress, or to 
any other office, in these Southern States, who had not taken 
a most active part in the Rebellion. Moderate men had no 
chance, and those who had shown during the Rebellion any 
Union feeling, were proscribed and persecuted. 

Of course, protests loud and deep arose in all the loyal 
States, and when Congress met it lost no time in condemn- 
ing all these proceedings as wholly illegal. Johnson in his 
message tried to convince Congress and the people that seces- 
sion had been null and void, that, consequently, after the disso- 
lution of the Confederacy the people of the same at once re- 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 459 

gained their former position, and of course all their former 
rights, and that there was no necessity for Congress to readmit 
them by proper laws. Whatever theoretical truth there might 
have been in this reasoning, as a matter of fact the seceded 
States had wholly disconnected themselves from the Union. 
The people had sworn fealty to a new State the Confederacy ; 
they had been recognized by all the foreign nations as bellig- 
erents, and they had placed a million of soldiers in the field. 
When we subdued them, there was not an officer in existence 
who derived his authority from the old Union government. 
Practically the former rebel States formed at this time merely 
a territory which for convenience' sake we might consider as 
divided into Territories within the old State lines. They were 
to be admitted again under conditions, as all Territories had 
been admitted, by act of Congress. 

Here, then, was the conflict. Johnson, supported by many 
of the government officers, and, at first, also by General Grant, 
and of course by all Democrats, North and South, who at once 
gathered round Johnson, whom they had until then not only 
pursued with bitter hatred, but, more than that, had despised, 
now charged the immense majority of loyal Republicans with 
being enemies to the Constitution and desirous of splitting up 
the Union again. His friends got up what they called a 
Union Convention at Philadelphia, and adopted a platform, 
sanctioning the acts of the President and denouncing the Re- 
publicans as disturbers of the peace and as disloyal to the 
Union. In the fall, as the State elections approached, the Presi- 
dent himself and Secretary Seward entered upon an election- 
eering campaign, setting out from Washington through Mary- 
land, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and down to St. 
Louis, returning by Louisville and Cincinnati to Washington. 
Johnson seemed to have lost all sense and discretion. His 
speeches were highly intemperate and vilifying. General Grant 
soon became sick of his company, and left early, I believe at 
Buffalo. Seward, of course, in his speeches was moderate and 
somewhat diplomatic, yet sustained by subtle reasoning John- 



460 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

son 's position as the only correct one. This singular Johnson 
campaign is known in our history as the ' ' Swinging round the 
Circle." 

The excitement was very great. If successful, the old 
Democracy would at once have taken the reins of the govern- 
ment again. Of course, I could not remain an idle spectator. 
Through the press and also at public meetings I took a strong 
stand against the Johnson policy. 

As early as April I had written some articles in the 
"Chicago Tribune" and in some St. Louis papers which were 
favorably received by the press generally. Mr. Perry wrote 
me from Madrid that he had seen them copied in the "New 
York Tribune," and was highly pleased with them. Mr. Jehu 
Baker, who represented the Belleville district in Congress, 
in a letter dated April 16, 1866, in regard to Johnson, wrote 
as follows : 

' ' Shortly after I came here, I had, in company with others, 
a business interview with the President. I was very unfavor- 
ably impressed. His look and presence inspired no higher 
confidence, such as men instinctively feel when in the presence 
of noble natures. On leaving him I felt sadly certain that 
his mind was not and could not be amenable to high reasons 
and just motives of conduct. His mental range is evidently 
low and narrow, and his sentiments essentially mean and 
vulgar. Such a man cannot of course be in any proper sym- 
pathy with the great Union party of this country embracing, 
as it does, nine-tenths of the intellect and nearly all the moral 
forces of the nation. 

"I saw only a part, but a very excellent extract, of your 
article on Johnson and Seward. Could you send me the whole 
of it? I should like to secure its insertion in 'Forney's 
Chronicle.' ! 

In the fall elections the Republicans were successful 
and Johnsonism came to a speedy end. 

DOMESTIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS 

Mrs. Elizabeth Kane Bissell, widow of Governor Bissell, 
who continued to reside at Springfield until 1863, had moved 
to Belleville with her two step-daughters, Josephine and Rhoda, 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 461 

and the daughters of William C. Kinney, who, with his wife, 
a sister of Mrs. Bissell, had died some years before. Mrs. 
Bissell, for many years in delicate health, died in the last days 
of 1865 while I was in Washington City. Louise, Felicite and 
Lily were young ladies, Louise about twenty, Felicite eighteen, 
and Lily about seventeen years; Josephine was about twenty- 
two, and Rhoda about twenty years of age. They had all 
received an excellent education, were talented, very good- 
looking and very amiable. My intimate friendship with the 
late Governor Bissell and the familiar intercourse which had 
existed between his daughters and my children allowed us to 
offer to the Misses Josephine and Rhoda our house as a home. 
Rhoda at the time was very ill with typhoid fever and Sophie 
in her letter to me at Washington expressed the greatest anx- 
iety about her condition. Fortunately she recovered. The 
two lovely girls stayed at our house until New Year's eve of 
1866, when Rhoda was married to Charles W. Thomas of Belle- 
ville, a young and promising lawyer, and Josephine left our 
house to reside with her sister. Sophie loved them as much 
nearly as her own children. In October of the year 1866, 
Theodore, the oldest son of our Augusta, was born. 

My presence in Washington in December 1866 and Janu- 
ary 1867 was caused by the pursuit of the State claim of two 
per-cent for money received by the United States for the sale 
of public land within the State, before mentioned. My brief 
had been filed and the case turned over to the Treasury De- 
partment and was to be heard by the Attorney-General, Hoar, 
whose advice had been asked by the Treasury. In the mean- 
time, William H. Evarts and Caleb Gushing had become inter- 
ested in the case, and so it happened that we had several con- 
sultations together, which gave me an opportunity to become 
acquainted with two of the most distinguished lawyers of the 
country. Of the two, Gushing was by far the more interesting. 
He was a man of perhaps the largest attainments of all our 
public men, of vast political experience, and of quite fascinat- 
ing manners. He had been a member of Congress, a minister 



462 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

to China, a brigadier-general in the Mexican war, and Attor- 
ney-General of the United States under the administration of 
President Pierce. In 1875 he was appointed minister to Spain. 
He died in 1879 in his seventy-ninth year. Evarts afterwards 
became Secretary of State and a senator from New York. 

EXTENDED PLEASURE TRIP THROUGH THE NORTH AND EAST 

For two years now I had been assiduously engaged in 
legal business and also in setting afoot and organizing the Sol- 
diers' Orphans' Home, so that I concluded to take some rest 
and recreation by a somewhat extended tour through the North 
and the East. In the latter part of June, 1867, Sophie, Paula, 
and myself went on board a St. Paul steamer at St. Louis, 
going as far as Prairie du Chien, "Wisconsin. 

With the exception of some fine scenery at Keokuk, Fort 
Madison, Burlington, Muscatine and, particularly, Davenport 
and Rock Island, as also at Dubuque, the banks of the Mississip- 
pi are rather monotonous. Yet the trip was very pleasant. 
The third evening after we left St. Louis we disembarked at 
Prairie du Chien. This is quite an interesting place, one of 
the earliest French settlements and a missionary station called 
originally St. Nicholas. There is still an ancient convent there 
and a small fort of the United States. As the present name 
indicates, it is situated in a vast bottom-prairie. We rambled 
about a good deal, observing that the place was improving 
rapidly owing to its being the terminus of the Milwaukee and 
Prairie du Chien Railroad, lately completed, connecting the 
Mississippi River with Lake Michigan. 

The beautiful city of Madison, half way between the Mis- 
sissippi and Milwaukee, we reached next day in the afternoon. 
The State House was just finished, a noble building in the 
midst of a very fine park. I was introduced to some of the 
State officers. The Secretary of State made me acquainted with 
the law by which the Soldiers' Orphans' Home was created and 
organized, also gave me the first annual report of the trustees 
of the establishment, and accompanied me to the institution, 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 463 

very pleasantly situated. It being vacation time, most of the 
pupils were absent, and so were the teachers. The asylum was 
still in its infancy; yet I obtained some valuable informa- 
tion. 

Madison is charmingly situated between three or four 
lakes and was at this time considered as a sort of summer 
resort for Southern people. Indeed, we met there three or 
four families of our acquaintance from St. Louis, who stayed 
there for their health, particularly for that of their small chil- 
dren. The weather while we were there was, however, very 
hot, and the air, probably on account of the large sheets of 
water surrounding the city, was rather moist, making the tem- 
perature quite oppressive. After a stay of two days we crossed 
the State to Milwaukee. A very delightful place on this route 
is Waukesha, noted for its many mineral springs. 

Milwaukee had improved immensely since I had made 
Fremont speeches there in 1856, on stormy autumn nights, on 
the surrounding hills near a huge bonfire. We were visited 
by Ex-Governor Salomon and his charming wife, and the Gov- 
ernor showed us the principal sights of this most handsome and 
lovely city. A nightly fete-champetre in a pleasure-garden 
on the top of a hill was quite a treat to us. Milwaukee was 
even then known for its culture of music, and we heard some 
beautiful singing and instrumental music. In the midst of 
the general enjoyment an accident happened which might have 
become very serious. Fireworks were to be let off and there 
was quite a quantity of rockets, Roman lights, torpedoes and 
the like stored rather carelessly on the porch of the pavilion. 
Preparatory to the display, some rockets were let off and in 
some way one went right into the boxes where the main body 
of the fireworks was kept. There were hundreds of ladies, chil- 
dren and men seated nearby, and, of course, there was a ter- 
rible panic. A general flight ensued, some of the ladies ' dresses 
having caught fire, but being soon extinguished. In fact, no 
one was seriously hurt. But for the time being it looked rath- 
er alarming. 



464 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNEE 

On a beautiful moonlight night we crossed Lake Michigan 
over to Grand Haven at the mouth of the Grand River in 
Michigan, a good harbor, but at the time a rather sorry look- 
ing town on sand hills. After a short stay and a poor break- 
fast, we took the cars for Detroit through partly very romantic 
scenery. The forests of fir and pine are rapidly being cut 
down, and saw-mills line the rivers and smaller streams. We 
were surprised at finding Detroit such a large, noble and hand- 
some city. Jefferson Avenue is even now one of the finest 
streets in the United States. We took a carriage and saw a 
good deal of the surrounding country. Senator Chandler, 
whose acquaintance I had made in Belleville, was out of town. 
From the civility he showed myself and family at a later 
period at Washington, he would undoubtedly have made our 
stay more pleasant, though we were delighted with the city. 

CANADA 

After a stay of two days we crossed the Detroit River to 
Windsor, Canada, taking the train for Toronto. There is a 
striking contrast at once observable. The towns and villages 
are solidly built up, the houses generally only one or two 
stories high, and the material used principally stone. The 
country, very level, presents no fine views. Passing through 
London, Belleville, and Hamilton we reached Toronto in the 
evening. The hotel we stopped at was very different from 
the palatial hotels in the States, but very comfortable. It 
answered the description of English inns, as we find them 
described in English novels. Of course, we saw all the sights, 
driving out several miles to the great lunatic asylum. What 
we admired most was the university, a building after the 
fashion of the ancient English colleges, surrounded by a 
majestic and most beautiful park. Unfortunately it was burnt 
down in 1890. 

Toronto has some very fine residence-streets called ter- 
races. The houses are built mostly of stone and covered with 
shining tin roofs. Everything is utterly English, or I should 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 465 

rather say Scotch, for from the broad talk and appearance 
of the people, one would think that most of them were Scotch. 
Oatmeal served in mighty cups for breakfast was partaken 
of by everybody, a thing which had at that time not become 
fashionable in our country, except in some of the New England 
States. 

In the evening of the second day we left Toronto on board 
of a large steamer for Montreal. Next morning we entered 
the St. Lawrence River at Kingston, a considerable place, 
and with a fort of great strength in olden times. The trip 
down the St. Lawrence, through the Thousand Islands and 
over the rapids near Montreal has been so often described 
and is so familiar to American travelers and tourists, that 
nothing need be said about it here. The passage of the La- 
chine rapids was, however, quite a different affair from that 
over the Rhine rapids at Bingen, of which I have spoken when 
I was taken by my parents down the Rhine from Mayence to 
Cologne. 

A short time before we reached the Lachine, (having al- 
ready made some less dangerous rapids,) the legendary Indian 
pilot was taken on board. I think that this is done rather for 
show. It makes the thing more interesting. The tourists 
are made to believe that no American pilot, however daring, 
would run the risk of taking a large steamer through the shoot- 
ing rapids, falling within a short distance some forty feet, the 
channel being very small and confined by hugh rocks. When 
the wheel is given up to the old Indian, a sort of shudder 
seems to run through a great many of the ladies and timid 
men. I am sure the American pilot laughs internally, because 
he knows that he could take the steamer through as well as, 
if not better than, the Indian. But after the descent is made 
the passengers feel a kind of pride in having been exposed to 
peril, although it is merely apparent and was gotten up for 
effect. Several people left the boat above the Lachine rapids, 
taking the railroad, which runs around the falls there to 
Montreal. 



466 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

Early in the evening we reached Montreal, after having 
passed under the great tubular Victoria Bridge' which spans 
the St. Lawrence River, and landed at the magnificent quays 
of the city. The hotels were all crowded ; we found, however, 
some good rooms at the Ottawa Hall. We met here Judge 
Oaton and his family, and some other parties from Illinois. 
We were very much surprised to find Montreal so large and 
so fine a place, and surrounded by such beautiful scenery. 
In churches and other public buildings, at that time, I believe, 
it was superior to most of our American cities, as regards 
beauty and taste at least. A ride up and around that high 
hill, Mount Royal, from which you see the city with its glitter- 
ing roofs, its splendid quays and squares, gives you a beautiful 
sight. The largest river on the North American continent rolls 
by the city, the harbor of which is crowded with steamers 
and sailing-vessels of all sizes. Towards the south, on the 
other side of this mighty body of water, the Green Mountains 
of Vermont are distinctly seen, while mountains also rise to- 
ward northern Canada. The weather was very hot, and we 
shortened our stay in order to reach the cooler summer resorts 
in the Green and White Mountains. 

NEW ENGLAND 

Thus far our journey had been delightful particularly 
for Sophie, for whom, as I have already remarked, water had 
an almost magical attraction. We had gone up the Missis- 
sippi some five hundred miles, then had crossed Lake Michi- 
gan, Lake Ontario, and had gone a hundred miles or so down 
the St. Lawrence. 

Crossing Victoria Bridge we went to Rouse Point, and 
then to St. Albans, where we had our trunks searched at the 
U. S. custom house. Through a very fine country, generally 
alongside of a rapidly flowing clear stream by way of Mont- 
pelier we came in the evening to White River Junction, where 
we stopped over in a neat, small Yankee inn. It was a comfort- 
able place, but the eating was dreadful. Except of course in 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 467 

the larger hotels in the cities or summer resorts, cooking in 
New England is execrable. The ordinary Yankees do not know 
how to make bread. They sweeten everything with molasses ; 
their pies are mere dough. Making coffee seemed to be an un- 
known art there. Liver and tripe are almost the only meats 
at breakfast. 

White River Junction is handsomely situated. We took 
long walks through the valley. A ladies' seminary on a hill 
near the village is quite a fine structure in the midst of a 
large well-kept lawn. The girls were all out in the evening 
playing around, but most of the larger ones were promenad- 
ing in the park with young gentlemen visitors and seemed to 
enjoy themselves very much. Paula thought it was a very 
great contrast to the manner in which she and the other young 
girls had been kept in the ladies' seminary at Frankfort. 
When they went out to take the air on the beautiful prome- 
nades surrounding the city, one governess marched in front and 
one behind, and no gentlemen, young or old, would have been 
permitted to come near any one of the girls. 

Continuing our journey east through delightful scenery 
we crossed the Connecticut River and soon reached a station 
where we had to take other conveyances to go to the west side 
of the White Mountains to a rather noted summer hotel, the 
Crawford House. We mounted one of the splendid "Con- 
cord stages," which have room for about fifteen persons, 
nine inside, two with the driver, and three on deck. They are 
drawn by six horses, generally fine ones. We were somewhat 
surprised to meet here with a Spanish fashion. Though on 
the Spanish diligences there are, besides a conductor, who 
drives the wheel-horses, an assistant driver (zagal), who fre- 
quently runs alongside of the six or eight mules and horses, 
whipping them up, and a postilion (delantero) riding the 
saddle-horse in front, yet the zagal has always a handful of 
stones on his seat, and throws now and then a stone or two at 
the mule or horse, when it does not pull enough. Our driver, 
who drove a six-in-hand, could not well hit with his whip the 



468 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

foremost horses, and, having his pockets full of pebbles, he 
threw them from time to time at the leaders. 

It was a delightful trip. Now and then we passed through 
very fine timber, large pines and firs and the most beautiful 
graceful hemlocks. Clear brooks, indicative of nice trout, ran 
and sometimes rushed through these forests. The Crawford 
House stands in a deep valley. We found it rather too shady. 
The parlors were so damp that fires were made in the chim- 
neys evenings and mornings. Many people were crowd- 
ed together in the hotel who followed the tedious life usual 
at such fashionable summer-hotels or watering-places. The 
ladies dress about three times a day, sit on the verandas, 
hardly take a walk, and after dark go into the parlors and try 
to enjoy themselves by dancing. As there is always a lack of 
young gentlemen, the ladies often dance without male partners 
or sit around the wall looking at the half dozen couples who do 
dance. The gentlemen generally sit on the veranda smoking, 
or, when they go in, they play euchre or whist, or read news- 
papers. There is really nothing more dreary or ennuyant 
than an American summer-hotel. We did not stay in the 
house much, but walked for miles in the canons, here called 
notches, and one evening we went up in one of the stages to 
Mount Willard, one of the highest peaks near the Crawford 
House. The road is very fine and well kept, but does not 
wind around and goes up almost perpendicularly. Going up, 
this steepness was less observable ; but descending, it was fright- 
ful. Were it not that these stages are most solid, the brakes 
and the breeching of the horses most perfect, and the drivers 
very skilful, accidents would very often happen. It took us 
nearly an hour to go up and almost as long to go down. On 
the top of Mount Willard, the prospect is very delightful. On 
one side, the peaks of the Green and Franconia Mountains; 
on the other, Mounts Clinton, Franklin, and Mount Washing- 
ton. 

There was at that time only a bridle-path over the moun- 
tain range by which Mount Washington could be reached, and 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 469 

it was represented to us as rather dangerous, and but few 
ladies ever took it. So we went some distance back again, 
and came in a roundabout way to the Glen House at the foot 
of Mount Washington. But it was a most delightful drive of 
nearly ten hours. The Glen House is another highly fashion- 
able resort. It was full to overflowing. As the pious people 
here do not allow traveling on Sundays, and we had reached 
the hotel Saturday evening, we spent a dreadfully hot day 
very uncomfortably. These summer-hotels are frame build- 
ings, and this one, being down in the valley where there was 
little draft, was as hot as a bake-oven. While the hundreds 
of guests, it being the Sabbath, kept in the house, where also 
in one of the large parlors religious service was held, we broke 
the rule and walked out into the cooler woods and rested on 
the banks of a very fine trout-brook for hours. In a more 
rational section of the country we should of course have driven 
up Mount Washington ; but here we could not have got horses 
or stages to take us up, and should perhaps have been arrested 
and fined for violation of the Sunday laws if we had even 
walked up. 

Early on Monday morning we made up a party to fill a 
stage for a visit to Mt. Washington, the highest peak of the 
White Mountains, some 6,500 feet above the level of the sea. 
The road is in very good order. It winds around the moun- 
tain so as at no place to be dangerously steep. The weather 
was beautiful until we came near the top. All at once there 
was a gathering of clouds, and before we could reach the low 
massive stone house, called the Summit House, where the ob- 
servatory and the IT. S. signal service station are kept, a terrible 
storm burst down upon us. We could hardly keep our legs 
when running to the house. The lightning was close and 
incessant, while the thunder was not as loud in proportion. 
But quickly as the storm had come, it blew over quite as 
quickly. When we ventured out the sun shone bright where 
we were, but below us, about half way down the mountain, 
the clouds had gathered ; the storm was below us. It was quite 



470 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

a novel sight to those who had never been in mountainous 
regions. 

After awhile a general clearing up took place and we 
enjoyed a beautiful and extensive view. All the high peaks 
of the range were in sight and also those of the Franconia 
and the Green Mountains. Towards the south we saw a good 
many lakes. There is no doubt that from the Glen House at 
the foot of Mount Washington one has a very fine view 
of the nearer peaks, and that the hotel would be a delightful 
place, if it was not one of those huge structures having room for 
one thousand guests and attracting thereby what is called 
fashionable society which goes there to be seen and talked 
about, caring little, if anything, about scenery or healthful 
exercise. We were glad to leave it. By a most charming 
road alongside of rushing brooks, fine meadows and an un- 
dulating road we reached by stage after an early start the 
Alpine House on the Grand Trunk Railroad, where we took 
the cars for Portland and Boston. Stopping only a short 
time at the former place for refreshments, we reached Bos- 
ton in the evening and took up quarters at the old Revere 
House on Bowdoin Square. It is an old-fashioned building, 
not large, but very comfortable, patronized by parties with 
ladies, while the Tremont House, owned by the same proprie- 
tor as the Revere, was the resort of single men and commercial 
travelers. There is no tinsel about the Revere, but the fur- 
niture, carpets, and curtains are of the best material, and the 
table excellent. It was said to be kept on the temperance 
plan, like the Delavan House in Albany. Indeed, there was 
no public bar-room. But at the meals you could have almost 
any kind of wine, or beer, in fact, any kind of liquor usually 
found in large hotels. When we went through the corridors 
in the morning for breakfast we found before many doors 
empty champagne and other bottles set out, testifying to late 
suppers and convivial gatherings. We met here some friends 
from the West and also our old Valencia acquaintance, ex- 
Consul Kent and his daughter. 



THE YEARS 1865 TO 1867 471 

To us from the old country, Boston, the old part of it, 
has quite a charm. It has individuality. The houses are 
not rows of buildings of a dull, uniform style. The streets 
are not very wide and some of them are quite crooked and 
hilly. In the very heart of the city at the foot of the State 
House are the celebrated Commons, a very large rolling park, 
with woods and lawns and lakes. Of course we saw all the 
ordinary sights, Bunker Hill Monument, at Charleston on 
the other side of the Charles River, Faneuil Hall, the Athen- 
aeum, which contained some very valuable pictures of old 
and new masters and some excellent sculpture, the splendid 
Public Library, and the State House. We made an excursion 
to Cambridge, where Harvard is located with all its various 
halls, lecture-rooms, and chapels, some of which are very an- 
cient and quaint. Not far off is one of the finest burial places 
in the world, Mount Auburn. We remained there several 
hours. Kept by the Boston Horticultural Society, it presents 
a park and garden of the most attractive variety ; but as the 
resting-place of many of the choicest spirits of America, 
orators, statesmen, authors, and scholars, it has charms super- 
ior to mere parks, however beautiful they may be. 

An excursion around the harbor of Boston, which we had 
meditated, was spoilt by a heavy rain, which set in on the 
third day of our stay in Boston. 

I must say of this city that I felt while there as living 
in a higher sphere than anywhere else. A hundred noble 
names rushed on my memory. The many academies of arts, 
the innumerable halls devoted to science, music and public 
instruction, the various extensive libraries, the many chari- 
table institutions, do certainly entitle this city to be called the 
Athens of America. There is an English flavor about it ; but 
it is of the finest kind and does not at all extinguish the in- 
tense Americanism of its native population. I am speaking 
of Boston as I found it in 1867. Owing to various reasons 
it is now frequently asserted that the character of the people 
has changed unfavorably, and that the glory of old Boston 



472 MEMOIRS OF GUSTAVE KOERNER 

as the intellectual and spiritual metropolis of the United States 
is in danger of fading away. I cannot believe that these 
fears are well grounded. The foundations of moral and intel- 
lectual excellence are there laid firmly and deeply. No out- 
ward circumstances are likely to destroy them. 

Newport was our next resting place. The Ocean House, 
where we stopped, was another of those huge caravansaries 
said to be able to accommodate about a thousand guests. It 
was crowded and was as uncomfortable as possible. The same 
dull dreariness prevailed there as in other fashionable summer- 
resorts: promenading on the large verandas; changing of 
dresses; flirtations; and attempts at dancing in the large par- 
lors on hot evenings; weariness visible in almost every face. 
We stayed but very little in the house. We walked early in 
the mornings and late in the evenings through the long and 
beautiful avenues, alongside of which innumerable elegant and 
costly villas belonging to the millionaires of New York and 
other large cities present a most lovely sight. In the middle 
of the day we made longer excursions, amongst which the drive 
to Fort Adams, one of the strongest forts of the